Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
Shors, Teri Department of Biology and Microbiology, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
- Reporting of a new human virus
- Laboratory investigation
- Public awareness of a new virus threat
- Epidemiology of MERS
- Controversy over the rights to the MERS-CoV
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic that occurred in 2002–2003 was caused by a coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The name coronavirus (Latin corona, meaning crown or a halo appearance) comes from the shape of the virus when it is observed using an electron microscope. Coronaviruses typically infect mammals and birds. Only a handful of coronaviruses cause disease in humans, with the most publicized being the SARS-CoV. The SARS-CoV caused a contagious and sometimes fatal pneumonia that spread throughout the world after its first appearance in China in November 2002. There have been no known cases of SARS since 2004. However, in 2012, another new human coronavirus emerged in Saudi Arabia. This new coronavirus is responsible for a viral disease known as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
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