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Written by: Vester Gravley on Thursday, August 20, 2015 Posted in:

Catching Up on the Global Crisis

In my last blog, MERS has made its American debut, I touched on the deadly viral outbreak and the cases seen thus far. Here are some other articles that touch on MERS as the outbreak continues to make news.

MERS Goes to the Dogs — At least that’s what scientists are hoping. According to a BBC News article from May 26,  “Scientists are soon to test cats, dogs and even rats as they seek to understand the mysterious MERS infection.” Although it has been established the MERS in humans is “indistinguishable” from that in camels not all victims of MERS have camels! So scientists have started looking into “cats, dogs – where there is more intimate contact – and any other wild species we can get serum from…” Loose the hounds!

Missing MERS Cases – A article from June 3 confirmed a sharply upward revision of the number of confirmed infections and deaths from the disease. Secondary to the finding of 100 unreported cases the deputy health minister was sacked and the new totals were revised upward to 688 confirmed infections and 282 deaths. That’s 41 percent folks!

MERS Underterred: “God will protect me”; seems the predominant position of pertinacious pilgrims making their way to Mecca. Another declares, “I am not afraid of the coronavirus” and yet another; “…I couldn’t have postponed my pilgrimage.” Late June sees the arrival of untold numbers of Muslim peregrinates in Saudi Arabia for Ramadan and later this October “the numbers will rocket when pilgrims arrive for hajj” according to another report from June 6. The article does note “Local authorities in Mecca are distributing leaflets and brochures containing advice on hygiene and measures to prevent the risk of infection by the coronavirus.” And one pilgrim sums up the situation best when he said: “We are complying with the instructions of the health authorities. The situation seems normal.” Can anyone say “Spanish Flu”?

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