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  • News

    MERS outbreak picks up pace in Middle East

    Behind the news that the United States has had its first case of the deadly respiratory virus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, or MERS coronavirus, is a far more worrisome trend: Case numbers are exploding on the Arabian Peninsula. As doctors struggle to treat patients, scientists are rushing to answer some basic questions about the virus’s biology, whose answers could...

    05/05/2014 - 10:21 Health
  • News in Brief

    First MERS case found in the U.S.

    A health care worker who traveled from Saudi Arabia to the United States has contracted the MERS coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced May 2. The virus is a relative of SARS and causes respiratory infections including a severe pneumonia known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS.

    The virus is inefficient at spreading among people, says Vincent...

    05/02/2014 - 17:25 Health, Microbiology
  • News

    Camels in Saudi Arabia teeming with MERS virus

    Three-quarters of dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia have been infected with the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, according to the most thorough survey of the animals there. The finding adds to mounting evidence that camels are a source of the deadly infections in humans.

    In September 2012, health experts isolated the first human case of MERS coronavirus, which...

    02/25/2014 - 00:05 Biomedicine
  • Science Ticker

    Molecule stops MERS spread among cultured human cells

    A lab-developed protein fragment has stopped the spread of the MERS virus among cultured human cells.

    MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome, is a viral respiratory illness that has infected 180 people, killing 77.

    The newly developed molecule interacts with the protein that the MERS virus uses to enter a host cell, researchers report January 28 in Nature Communications. Whether...

    01/28/2014 - 14:43 Cells, Health
  • Feature

    Year in Review: A double dose of virus scares


    Outbreaks of two deadly viruses captured the world’s attention in 2013, but neither turned into the global pandemic expected to strike one of these years.

    One of the viruses, known as MERS, causes Middle East respiratory syndrome. The other, H7N9, is a new bird flu virus from China....

    12/21/2013 - 16:51 Immune Science
  • Science Ticker

    Bats' cells evolve to battle MERS

    Guest post by Tina Hesman Saey

    Bats have been duking it out with the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, for a long time, a new study suggests.

    The MERS virus grabs hold of the DPP4 protein on mammalian cells to gain entry into them. Bats have more changes to their DPP4 proteins than other animals do, Jie Cui of the University of Sydney and colleagues...

    10/09/2013 - 19:12 Cells, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    MERS virus jumped several times from animals to humans

    The virus that causes the mysterious and deadly new disease called Middle East respiratory syndrome may have first appeared in animals in July 2011 and then infected people multiple times. People then transmitted the virus to others, a new analysis suggests.

    The illness called MERS was identified last year and has sickened 132 people, killing 58 of them, mostly in Saudi Arabia. Both bats...

    09/19/2013 - 17:22 Animals, Health
  • News in Brief

    Bats can carry MERS

    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...

    08/22/2013 - 18:12 Immune Science
  • News in Brief

    Camels implicated as possible hosts of MERS virus

    Camels may be intermediate hosts of a mysterious and deadly respiratory virus related to SARS that has sickened 94 people, killing 46, in parts of the Middle East, Europe and northern Africa.

    Last year, the virus — now known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, coronavirus — revealed itself to scientists after a few people became sick with severe pneumonia (SN: 3/23/13, p. 5...

    08/08/2013 - 18:09 Biomedicine
  • News in Brief

    On the trail of a new virus

    A new, deadly respiratory virus spreads easily in hospital settings, a team of investigators has found.

    The virus, called the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, reminds Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist Trish Perl of SARS. “The cases are eerily similar,” she says. Perl and two colleagues investigated a SARS outbreak in Toronto 10 years ago. This spring, they...

    06/19/2013 - 17:01 Immune Science