The novel coronavirus originating from the Middle East has now been re-named MERS-CoV (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus). A better name may have been Middle Eastern Respiratory Disease Entity, or MERDE-CoV. This acronym may more accurately reflect the trouble we would be in if this virus were to take hold. However for whatever reason, the powers that be have stayed away from this definition. I cannot think why…
All the correspondence I am getting in my mailbox regarding H7N9 and MERS-CoV is very much pertaining to the former, making me worry that the MERS-CoV is being somewhat neglected. My personal opinion is that H7N9 is going to disappear from our conciousness in the next few months. The graphs suggest that the prevalence of H7N9 is now declining significantly. However I hope that the legacy of H7N9 will be that it puts an end once and for all to the “live bird markets” and the risks that they carry.
MERS-CoV is a different proposition altogether. Far from disappearing, it seems to be cropping up in clusters in various places. Click here for the latest CDC updates on this virus. It has a very high mortality rate, and has clear evidence of human to human transmission. The one saving grace is that it has now been around for several months so propagation throughout populations at the moment seems to be sluggish.
I would urge that people start to switch their attention somewhat from H7N9 (without completely ignoring it) and start to really focus on this MERS-CoV, both on a local and international scale. This virus might just have the potential to create a genuine global health problem. Time will tell….