New DNA test evidence has surfaced which shows that the deadly MERS virus can be spread directly from camels to humans. A previously 44-year old Saudi man recently died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after coming in contact with a sick camel in his herd. Friends of the man saw him give the camel medicine only days before he became ill.
The man was rushed to the intensive care unit at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, on November 3, 2013. He had severe shortness of breath, and eight days prior to his admission he had had a fever, a cough, and congestion. His condition grew steadily worse, until a severe shortness of breath developed and he was moved to the hospital.
In the intensive care unit, the Saudi man’s health deteriorated rapidly until he finally died of the disease on November 18th, 2013. After his death, it was discovered the same MERS virus that his camel had was the virus that killed him. Apparently, the MERS virus had spread to the 44-year old after he had given the camel medicine, at which time he came in contact with the camel’s mucus.
A veterinarian took samples from the camel after the man was hospitalized and again after he died. The samples proved that the MERS virus spread from the camel into the man. Several other camels in his small herd got the virus as well, but they had antibodies that fought it off.
The evidence might give scientists more clues on how to prevent the spread of the deadly virus once and for all.