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There May Have Been a Major Breakthrough in MERS Treatment

Two existing and widely available drugs may prove to be effective treatments for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), new research published by the University of Hong Kong suggests. According to the South China Morning Post, the medicines—lopinavir with ritonavir and a type of interferon—were tested on marmosets, small monkeys that a 2014 U.S. study concluded would be the best subject for MERS trials because of the way their reactions to the virus mimics human illness. The drugs, currently used to treat HIV and sclerosis, were found to be effective in curing MERS-infected marmosets. The research is the first of its kind in the world. “We would recommend doctors to start using both drugs immediately to treat MERS patients if they are critical,” said Jasper Chan Fuk-woo, one of the researchers, told SCMP. “The evidence in this study is quite strong in proving the effectiveness of these two drugs.” Currently, there is no known cure for MERS. Meanwhile, South Korea, which struggled with a MERS outbreak in May and June, has not reported any new MERS cases for 23 days and no deaths for more than two weeks. The country declared a “de-facto end” to its outbreak on July 28, although a spokesman for the World Health Organization told the BBC it would not declare an official end to the country’s outbreak until 28 days had passed with no new infections—twice the disease’s incubation period. [SCMP]
Source: TIME.com: Top Science and Health Stories - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Hong Kong medicine MERS monkeys Science South Korea Source Type: news

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ABSTRACT Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) have been considered to be relatively harmless respiratory pathogens in the past. However, after the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and emergence of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), HCoVs have received worldwide attention as important pathogens in respiratory tract infection. This review focuses on the epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical characteristics among SARS‐coronaviruses (CoV), MERS‐CoV and other HCoV infections.
Source: Respirology - Category: Respiratory Medicine Authors: Tags: Invited Review Series: Respiratory Infections in The Asia ‐Pacific Region Source Type: research
European Union, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 08/10/2017 This 13-page report assesses the potential health risks for communicable diseases and other health threats for European citizens during their stay in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage on August 30-September 4, 2017. The risk of communicable disease outbreaks is highest for food- and waterborne diseases and respiratory illnesses due to crowding, but the risk is not considered higher than expected for international mass gatherings. MERS-CoV activity continues to be reported in the Arabian Peninsula, and imported cases may be detected in Europe ...
Source: Disaster Lit: Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Source Type: news
Between 31 August and 26 September 2017, the national IHR focal point of Saudi Arabia reported nine additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), including four deaths. In addition, four deaths from previously reported cases were reported.
Source: WHO Disease Outbreaks - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: news Source Type: news
Conclusion Prior outbreak nursing experience was importantly associated with intention to provide care for patients with a newly emerging infectious disease in the future considering stress and professionalism. Gathering information about nurses' experience of epidemics and regular assessment of job stress and professionalism are required.
Source: Asian Nursing Research - Category: Nursing Source Type: research
Recent zoonotic outbreaks, such as Zika, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and Ebola, have highlighted the need for rapid and accurate diagnostic assays that can be used to aid pathogen control. Q‐fever is a zoonotic disease caused by the transmission of Coxiella burnetii that can cause serious illness in humans via aerosols and is considered a potential bioterrorism agent. However the existing assays are not suitable for the detection of this pathogen due to its low levels in real samples. We here describe a rapid bio‐optical sensor for the accurate detection of Q fever and validate its clinical utility. By combining ...
Source: Journal of Biophotonics - Category: Physics Authors: Tags: Full Article Source Type: research
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Source: Indoor Air - Category: Occupational Health Authors: Tags: Original Article Source Type: research
Conclusions The role of HCWs in MERS-CoV transmission is complex. Although most MERS-CoV–infected HCWs are asymptomatic or have mild disease, fatal infections can occur and HCWs can play a major role in propagating health care facility outbreaks. This investigation highlights the need to continuously review infection control guidance relating to the role of HCWs in MERS-CoV transmission in health care outbreaks, especially as it relates to the complex questions on definition of risky exposures, who to test, and the frequency of MERS-CoV testing; criteria for who to quarantine and for how long; and clearance and retur...
Source: American Journal of Infection Control - Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: research
Conclusion The R 0 for the nosocomial MERS outbreaks in KSA and South Korea was estimated to be in the range of 2–5, which is significantly higher than the previous estimate of <1. Therefore, more comprehensive countermeasures are needed to address these infections.
Source: Journal of Hospital Infection - Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: research
On 23 August 2017, the national IHR focal point of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported one additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) infection.
Source: WHO Disease Outbreaks - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: news Source Type: news
Jung Following the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea, this research aims to examine the structural effect of public health network explaining collaboration effectiveness, which is defined as joint efforts to improve quality of service provision, cost savings, and coordination. We tested the bonding and bridging effects on collaboration effectiveness during the MERS outbreak response by utilizing an institutional collective action framework. The analysis results of 114 organizations responding during the crisis show a significant association between the bonding effect and the effectiv...
Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Article Source Type: research
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