New research suggests that MERS might be airborne

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

MERS may be airborne, say researchers from Saudi Arabia. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), was found in air samples taken from a barn in which an infected camel resided. The fact that this disease was populated within the air around the camel suggests that it may be able to be spread through air, which is a new threat for health officials.

According to Healio Infectious Disease News, there have been a total of 834 cases of MERS internationally, and 288 deaths related to the disease.

It was within a previous study that Esam Azhar, a PhD researcher with the project, isolated the MERS virus between a man and his pet camel. They found that the man had applied topical cream to the animal, causing him to receive the virus. He later passed away from his condition.

Science World Report News reports that this new study solidifies the notion that the virus is spread from camel to human most often, and now there is suggestions that it may be airborne passage.

"Further investigations and measures are needed to prevent possible airborne transmission of this deadly virusm," stated Azhar in a statement to Health Day. He explains that even this slightest detection of the molecules being airborn, "which were 100 percent identical with the viral genomic sequence detected from a camel actively shedding the virus in the same barn on the same day," means that scientists and researchers have a lot of work ahead of them to ensure that the virus does not spread any faster than it already has.



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