Threats and outbreaks of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Since the disease was first identified in Saudi Arabia in April 2012, more than 2 600 cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been detected in 27 countries. In Europe, eight countries have reported confirmed cases, all with direct or indirect connections to the Middle East. The majority of MERS-CoV cases continue to be reported from the Middle East. The source of the virus remains unknown, but the pattern of transmission and virological studies point towards dromedary camels in the Middle East as a reservoir from which humans sporadically become infected through zoonotic transmission. Human-to-human transmission is amplified among household contacts and in healthcare settings.

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