WHO Warns Europe of Deaths: German Cases to be Recorded by Covid

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned Europe of deaths related to the MERS coronavirus. In a recent statement, it said that the number of cases is expected to rise substantially in the coming weeks. The WHO also cautioned European countries to take all necessary precautions and screenings for people who have been exposed to MERS coronavirus. Covid has been tasked with recording German cases as well as managing other international data on this virus. To date, the WHO has recorded 672 cases of MERS coronavirus worldwide.

MERS causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a viral respiratory illness that is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. The name Middle East Respiratory Syndrome refers to the fact that most of the cases have been reported from countries around the Persian Gulf. MERS has mostly affected people over 50 years old and who suffer of other diseases like cancer or chronic diseases. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The virus is considered to be on the same transmission level as influenza or coronavirus. However, it is less adapted to humans than other common coronaviruses, like the one which causes SARS.

MERS-CoV has been known since June 2012. However, it is considered that MERS was first transimitted to humans in September 2012 when an American who resided in Saudi Arabia became ill with the virus after having visited Qatar and Jordan. At this time, the virus was classified as a coronavirus belonging to the lineage C.


In February 2013, after several confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia, including two deaths from the same family, the MERS coronavirus was said to be a new disease or at least a new strain of coronavirus. In April 2013 it was announced that the virus is a novel coronavirus and was classified as a strain of the species Betacoronavirus 2c, whose first known host is the bat.

At the end of June 2013, it was announced that MERS-CoV can be carried by dromedaries. Several studies have shown that some dromedary camels are infected with another coronavirus that is related to MERS-CoV though not all of them seem sick from it. The virus can be transmitted from dromedaries to humans and some human patients have been infected by dromedaries. However, it is highly unlikely that the transmission within the dromedary camels or from dromedaries to humans is efficient enough for the virus to spread easily in its natural host.

The first case of human to human transmission was reported in February 2014 after two brothers who lived together became ill with the MERS coronavirus. A third person who had close contact with them developed similar symptoms three days later. Several new cases were confirmed in the following days and it was said that several family members of previous confirmed cases had symptoms compatible with MERS coronavirus infection.

At the end of October 2013, the WHO announced that the new disease will be called Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS for short.

The first case in Europe was reported on September 11th, 2012 in a man who was in transit in Germany and flew from Saudi Arabia. He became ill with symptoms compatible with MERS shortly after he landed and he consulted a doctor. Since it happened more than 24 hours after his travel from the Arabian Peninsula, he did not have to be tested for the virus.