Coronavirus found on Qatari camel farm

Researchers believe dromedary camels could be reservoir for deadly pathogen

(Photo for illustrative purpose only)

(Photo for illustrative purpose only)

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronovirus, which has so far killed 71 people and is believed to have its origins in the Middle East, has been discovered in three camels on a farm in Qatar.

Previous studies into the coronavirus, of which the majority of victims have been in Saudi Arabia, have supported a theory that camels are spreading the pathogen.

Researchers from Qatar and the Netherlands wrote in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal that the infected dromedary camels were from a barn about 19 miles outside of the Gulf state’s capital Doha.

The farm is owned by a 61-year-old man who was found to be infected with the coronavirus in October. A 23-year-old worker was also found to be infected.

Previous research has also theorised that bats could be a natural reservoir for the pathogen, although researchers say that the latest findings do not necessarily disprove this.

“A further possibility remains that humans and camels could have been infected from a third as yet unknown source,” the journal said.

Human cases of MERS, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, have so far been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Is this the right prescription for Saudi Arabia?

Is this the right prescription for Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is expanding its healthcare industry on the back...

Revealed: Diagnosis for keeping the Gulf healthy

Revealed: Diagnosis for keeping the Gulf healthy

Gulf states have largely footed the bill for healthcare for decades...

Why no MERS vaccine? Lack of foresight frustrates scientists

Why no MERS vaccine? Lack of foresight frustrates scientists

Experts say vaccines could be readied, given the will

Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking