A man touches the lip of a young Majahim camel during the final day of Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival in the outskirts of Zayed City, United Arab Emirates. Scientists say the mysterious MERS virus has been infecting camels in Saudi Arabia for at least two decades.
CDC & Florida Dept of Health confirm traveler to US is hospitalized with #MERS. Patient is isolated & doing well.— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) May 12, 2014
CDC working w/ state health depts, health providers & airlines. Guidelines in place. There is very low risk to US public. #MERS— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) May 12, 2014
New case of #MERS imported to US is not linked to first reported case; 1st person now fully recovered; 2nd person recently hospitalized.— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) May 12, 2014
We don’t know for certain where the virus came from. However, it likely came from an animal source. In addition to humans, MERS-CoV has been found in camels in Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and a bat in Saudi Arabia. Camels in a few other countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS-CoV, indicating they were previously infected with MERS-CoV or a closely related virus. However, we don’t know whether camels are the source of the virus. More information is needed to identify the possible role that camels, bats and other animals may play in the transmission of MERS-CoV.