Even As MERS Epidemic Grows, The Source Eludes Scientists

Saturday, September 21, 2013
By Paul Martin

September 20, 2013

A year after doctors first identified an illness that came to be known as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome researchers are reporting fresh genetic information about the virus that causes it.

The findings don’t bring scientists any closer to understanding where MERS is coming from. In fact, the main news is that researchers were wrong about the source of some infections in the largest cluster of cases so far.

That would be in the province of Al-Hasa in eastern Saudi Arabia, the country where most of the world’s 132 MERS cases and 58 deaths have occurred. The Al-Hasa outbreak was concentrated in several hospitals.

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