Tags: MERS | testing | dogs | cats | rats

Scientists Testing Dogs and Cats for MERS

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 04:32 PM

Scientists are planning to test cats, dogs, and even rats to help understand the mysterious MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) infection, BBC News reports. 
 
MERS was first discovered in 2012 and has so far killed about 200 people globally. While the virus that causes it has been found in camels and bats, researchers say it could be lurking in other species.
 
One expert told BBC News that the hunt was likely to extend soon to animals and pets that have had close contact with people.
 
Using blood samples from camels in the Canary Islands, Dutch researchers found the first antibodies to the disease. A recent study also found that the version of the virus circulating in humans is indistinguishable from the one that's been found in camels.
 
But the lead author of that report, Thomas Briese, M.D. from Columbia University, said there are many unanswered questions about the disease. For example, a small number of cases of people dying from MERS had no known relationship with camels.
 
"We do have these sporadic cases where there is no known exposure to known cases and we question where do they catch the virus," he told BBC News.
 
"In some cases there was animal contact or camel contact but in others not, so there is no clear definitive picture yet."

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Scientists are planning to test cats, dogs, and even rats to help understand the mysterious MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) infection.
MERS, testing, dogs, cats, rats
218
2014-32-27
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 04:32 PM
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