Camels can contract the MERS virus, study finds

12/16/2013 | Reuters

Camels can be infected by the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, known as MERS, scientists say, lending credence to the theory that the animals may be a source of the outbreak among humans. The outbreak has killed at least 71 people since emerging last year. Dutch and Qatar researchers using gene-sequencing to show that three camels were infected with MERS on a Qatar farm where two people were also infected. "This is definitive proof that camels can be infected with MERS-CoV, but based on the current data we cannot conclude whether the humans on the farm were infected by the camels or vice versa," said study leader Bart Haagmans of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.

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