Today, a new report was released on MERS-CoV from John Hopkins University.  According to their recent study (which was admittedly short because of the urgency of getting information to the global community) on the disease, MERS is easily transmittable between people.  Experts had hoped that it would not be easily spread, but, like the SARS outbreak of 2003, it only takes about 7 days to spread to others.  Unlike SARS though, MERS has a 65% death rate compared to just an 8% death rate for SARS.

The new question, now, is whether or not this disease will make people reconsider traveling to the region for the holy month of Ramadan.  The poor, crowded living conditions for visitors during Ramadan could make it a potential hotbed for the disease.  If MERS does spread throughout the community of Muslims at Ramadan, those visitors could bring the disease back to their homes, potentially contaminating the entire world.

Although global contamination is a worst-case scenario, it is not far-fetched that the disease could be at least spread more throughout the region.  It will be interesting to watch and see what happens in the coming months regarding this disease.

~B

Advertisements