Qatar reports three camel MERS infections

Qatar said on Thursday that three camels have been found infected with the MERS coronavirus, in the first case of animals contracting the SARS-like virus in the Gulf state.

The camels were found in the same barn, and had been in contact with two humans who fully recovered from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, said the country's Supreme Council of Health.

It was the second reported case of animals infected with MERS after Saudi Arabia announced a camel had tested positive for the virus this month.

The World Health Organisation says it has been informed of 160 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection worldwide since September last year, including 68 deaths.

Saudi Arabia is the worst affected country, accounting for 55 deaths.

Experts are struggling to understand the MERS virus, for which there is no vaccine.

It is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

In August, researchers pointed to Arabian camels as possible hosts of the virus, which has hit hardest in the desert kingdom.

Like SARS, MERS appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing difficulty.

But it differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure and the extremely high death rate has caused serious concern.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Saudi announces new MERS death

Nov 20, 2013

Saudi health authorities on Wednesday announced a new MERS death, raising to 54 the number of people killed by the coronavirus in the country with the most fatalities.

Qatar announces third MERS death

Nov 19, 2013

An expatriate living in Qatar had died after he contracted MERS, bringing to three the number of deaths from the coronavirus in the Gulf state, health authorities said Tuesday.

Qatar announces fourth MERS death

Nov 22, 2013

An expatriate living in Qatar has died of MERS, bringing to four the number of deaths in the Gulf state from the coronavirus, health authorities said on Friday.

Kuwait discovers first MERS virus case

Nov 13, 2013

Kuwait has discovered its first case of the MERS coronavirus for a citizen who is in "critical condition," the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Ebola discoverer says would sit next to victim on train

3 hours ago

The scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus said the outbreak in west Africa was unlikely to trigger a major epidemic outside the region, adding he would happily sit next to an infected person on a train.

Peace Corps withdraws from W. Africa over Ebola fears

3 hours ago

The US Peace Corps announced Wednesday it was pulling hundreds of volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to growing concerns over the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa.

User comments