Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Scientists do not know where it came from, where the virus exists in nature, why it has appeared now, how people are being exposed to it, or whether it is becoming more contagious and could erupt into a much larger outbreak.
- SUBSCRIBE for FREE updates from author. Share with family and friends.
First reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, MERS is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. It causes flu-like symptoms that can progress to severe pneumonia. Since it was identified in Sept 2012, the respiratory illness has sickened nearly 100 people, most of them in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, and about half of them died. No cases have yet been reported in the United States. Experts are troubled by its alarming ability to spread among patients in a hospital.
ZetaTalk: Take Sick, written Feb 15, 1998. In the 1990s, the Zetas predicted that sickness would be on the increase once Planet X entered our solar system in 2003. They also said as the pole shift nears, people would be dealing with immune system difficulties in one form or another, which take the form of new and puzzling illnesses never before seen in humans. They also said that bird, animal, and fish populations would be the first to show negative health effects.
MERS is a chilling example of what health experts refer to as “emerging infections caused by viruses and other organisms that suddenly find their way into humans." Many of those diseases are “zoonotic,” meaning they are normally harbored by animals, but somehow manage to jump species.
- Uptick in animal, bird, fish die-offs around world in month – scientists puzzled (Photos)
- Cross-species mass marine animal die-off in UK alarms public, stumps experts (Photos)
- Weird animal dieoffs escalate. . . Ecologists increasingly alarmed (Photos)
This week, an international research team collected a bat sample in Saudi Arabia a few miles from the first known case of MERS. However, Dr. Ziad Memish, Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Health says there is no evidence of direct exposure to bats in the majority of human MERS and that it is likely something other than a bat — perhaps another animal — is spreading the virus directly to humans.
Is there a vaccine?
No, not yet. CDC, recognizing the potential for the virus to spread and cause more cases and clusters globally, including the United States, is discussing the possibility of developing one. In the meantime, it is providing MERS-CoV testing kits to state health departments.
As the Zetas so accurately predicted, we are dealing with new and puzzling illnesses never before seen in humans, or animals, birds, and fish.