CDC Braces For Cases Of MERS, Gets Ready For Outbreaks Of Deadly Virus In U.S.
Jun 22, 2013
Although the deadly MERS virus has yet to strike inside the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun to prepare for the disease’s potential spread to the United States.
Currently, the virus has continued to infect people throughout the Middle East and Europe.
The U.S. has had no confirmed cases of the virus, which is related to SARS–but is much more deadly.
According the World Health Organization, more than 60 cases of MERS, including 38 deaths, have been recorded by the in the past year. So far, most cases have appeared in Saudi Arabia, though cases have also appeared in Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Tunisia.
The CDC has said that it believes the risk of the virus appearing in the U.S. is low–but still very present.
“We know that the experience in Europe says the risk is not zero,” Dr. Mark Pallansch, director of the CDC’s division of viral diseases, reportedly said. “They’ve had at least four events of importing the virus in a traveler from (the Middle East). Since their travel volume is much higher with that region than ours, that would make sense in terms of us not having had a case, but still tells us the risk is not zero.”