Thursday, 18 June 2015

Juvenile camels 'key source' of Mers

By Jonathan BallBBC News

12 June 2015 
From the sectionScience & Environment

Mers is an emerging human infection, so scientists want to untangle the dynamics of the virus in camels

Camels aged less than four years might be a major source of Mers, according to new research.

An international team looked for evidence of current or past infection in more than 800 dromedary camels.

They found that more than 90% of animals became infected by the age of two and virus shedding was more common in calves than in adults.

The scientists argue that changes in animal husbandry may reduce the occurrence of human Mers infections.

The study is published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The first reports of human Mers coronavirus infection emerged in June 2012, although cases are likely to have occurred before then.

More than 1,100 cases have been recorded and more than 400 people have died. Infections have been seen in 25 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa, but Saudi Arabia has experienced the biggest burden.

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