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Medical News & Perspectives
August 14, 2013

Deadly MERS Coronavirus Not Yet a Global Concern

JAMA. 2013;310(6):569. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.251229

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that has been causing illness and death, mostly in Saudi Arabia, is “of great concern” but not yet a global emergency, said members of a World Health Organization (WHO) committee on July 17.

According to a July 21 update of the WHO’s morbidity and mortality figures for MERS-CoV (http://bit.ly/15QRx3D), there have been 90 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection since September 2012, including 45 deaths. Scientists have yet to identify the animal host of MERS-CoV or the mode of exposure to the virus.