Bats can carry MERS | Science News

Love Science? Welcome Home.

Support Amazing Science Journalism.

Create the New Science Generation.


News in Brief

Bats can carry MERS

DNA of deadly respiratory virus found in Saudi Arabian mammal

By
6:12pm, August 22, 2013

The virus that causes a deadly new respiratory disease known as Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, has been found in a bat in Saudi Arabia. The finding suggests that animals may transfer the virus to humans.

The disease was first diagnosed in a Saudi Arabian man last September. Since then, 99 people have gotten sick from the virus and 48 of them died. Scientists know that the coronavirus that causes the disease is related to the one that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and to viruses carried by bats. But they haven’t figured out how the virus got into humans. None of the sick people had any known contact with bats.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News