Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It Is Not Too Soon to Develop a MERS Vaccine

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is spreading throughout Saudi Arabia. The first known human infections of MERS-CoV occurred in 2012 in Jordan in a hospital setting.[1] Since then, more than 130+ suspected and confirmed cases have been recorded from eight countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. More than 100 cases (about 80% of all cases) have occurred in Saudi Arabia.  More concerning is that the number of cases is increasing rapidly in Saudi Arabia. In the last two weeks the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has reported about 25 new cases.[2]

Most of these new cases in Saudi Arabia appear to have been infected by human-to-human contact. It is time for public health officials to be proactive and support plans for developing a MERS-CoV vaccine. Spanish researchers have taken the first step and report that they are working towards developing a MERS-CoV candidate vaccine.[3] More MERS-CoV vaccine research is needed immediately, just in case.

h/t Giuseppe Michieli

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