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The MERS Attack as a Worldwide Threat

The MERS Attack

Various illnesses and diseases have continually threatened the existence of mankind on earth. These are the results of the ever-changing environment that have managed to produce viruses and bacteria that impose health hazards to the human body. One of the more recent illnesses is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) wherein its first outbreak happened in Jordan. It is more commonly referred as nCoV or novel coronavirus or in other publications, it has come to earn the term Saudi SARS.

It was first detected from a sixty year old man who was suffering from acute pneumonia and acute renal failure and is identified as the sixth type of coronavirus that is similar to that of the SARS. This has gained the attention of people worldwide due to the high mortality rate despite a short period of time. Due to this, in 2013, the World Health Organization has called it a threat to the entire world. Its effects are not only felt in the Middle East. Cases in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Kingdom, France and Italy have been reported including deaths of some.

MERS-CoV is compared to SARS, which had its outbreak years before worldwide. Infection with this virus usually results in fatality due to its symptoms, which are renal failure and severe acute pneumonia. Other symptoms include fever and diarrhea.
A person suffering from this illness resulted in organ failures that will eventually require the help of machines that can perform these organs’ functions. The patient will eventually need mechanical ventilation due to respiratory failure and dialysis because of renal failure. Other infections that may also occur during the course of the illness are influenza herpes simplex and pneumococcus.

The virus is believed to be a cause of human-to-human transmission as the confirmed cases among patients are among relatives and of people staying in the same health care units. Though it is yet to be confirmed whether its spread is through sporadic means, experts believe that the risk of sustained person to person transmission appears to be low and therefore, a large number of virions need to be inhaled in order to be affected.

MERS-CoV as Worldwide Threat
It is undeniable that MERS-CoV is a big threat to the entire world. This is because it is a respiratory illness wherein people might not need to have direct contact with an affected person to be infected. The number of fatalities is continuously rising and half of the confirmed cases resulted in death. This alarming fatality rate has increased the urgency for the experts to develop a vaccine that will hamper its spread just like what happened to SARS. The development of a vaccine is likely to occur once its origin has thoroughly been detected.

The WHO is trying to remedy this situation by determining its true mode of transmission and mapping its geographic risk areas. The illness’ key characteristics, symptoms and incubation period, which is currently 14 days, are still being studied in order to create an efficient vaccine that will stop this health threat to mankind. Medical establishments are more wary of people who have existing respiratory illnesses who may have been potentially been infected by the virus.


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