MERS virus will not become an epidemic like SARS
Despite having a high mortality rate, but the MERS (Middle Earth Respiratory Syndrome) virus which emerged in Saudi Arabia is not expected to be a major outbreak like SARS. This is because MERS can not be transmitted easily, says researchers.
In the full observation of MERS, researchers from the UK and Saudi Arabia explained that despite there are many similarities between MERS and the SARS virus outbreak that became dangerous in China in 2002, but there are fundamental differences that makes the MERS virus not too dangerous.
The WHO previously announced that Muslims who will make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca should not be worried because the risk is still very low. This is supported by research evidence that suggests that the MERS virus would not seem to be a major outbreak which will kill hundreds of people.
“The likelihood of MERS virus to become a plague and kill hundreds of people are still very small. The public needs to be convinced, that MERS is not transmitted quickly and will not kill many people in a short time,” said Professor Ali Zumla of University College London, as reported by Reuters (26/07).
MERS was first identified 15 months ago and has so far infected 90 people. While the SARS virus spreads more quickly and directly infects 8,000 people between November 2002 until July 2003.
Until now MERS has spread from the Middle East to France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom. Of the 90 cases of infections, 45 of whom have died from the virus.