Jun 25 2013, 3:22pm CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
Abu Dhabi, June 26 (IANS/WAM) Around 80 of the world's leading scientists, doctors and public health officials met in Cairo to discuss building defences against a deadly virus known as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
UAE daily The National said that the World Health Organisation convening such a meeting "is both worrying and reassuring".
"Medical experts and public-health authorities are obviously taking the problem seriously, which is a good start to managing it," it said.
However, the experts admitted that they know very little about the coronavirus that causes the disease - not even where it comes from, or how it is transmitted.
The nearest related virus is found in bats, and it is speculated that it passes to camels via dates infected by bat droppings and then onto humans. Transmission from camel to human - and between humans - is also not fully understood.
"The ailment's name is based on the fact that the majority of the 60 cases - and 38 deaths - identified worldwide starting in April 2012 have originated in the Middle East. The handful of cases in western Europe have involved travellers from the Middle East," the newspaper said.
So far, at least, the pneumonia-like sickness the virus causes has not been very contagious. There is no "sustained community transmission".
However, the experts were concerned that the occasional MERS victims could become what they call a "super-spreader" - a person with an increased ability to infect others.
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.
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