Tag Archives: Coronavirus

5 things you should know about MERs (Coronavirus)

When we say Corona, we don’t mean the mexican beer. MERs (which stands for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) has caused quite the hubbub lately, and HCW thinks it’s about time some science and facts take the stand, since all everyone else is interested in is counting the death tolls.

Disclaimer: material published in this article is strictly for scientific purposes only, any sarcastic notions are not by any means intended or directed to those people infected with the virus, and to those we wish a very rapid recovery.

1) This is NOT a new thing (Not exactly anyway)

The first few cases of the Corona virus were recorded in Saudi Arabia in 2012, which begs the question: Are they to blame?

*Dramatic pause*

Not really, since  Coronaviruses are pretty common in human beings and animals; in fact they have existed for several years. First cases were discovered in the 1960s. As is the case with most viruses: there are several mutations that occur to the virus over its course, causing it to emerge strong for a while until humans or animals develop some sort of immunity towards it, thus repeating the loop every couple of decades or so.

A notable example of Coronaviruses was the SARs. Emerging in 2003 it spread to more than two dozen countries, causing mass panic everywhere. It was however contained by the end of the year and there hasn’t been any new cases ever since. Whether or not this is going to happen to the MERs virus (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) is completely a different story, because you know, viruses can be resistant until you know how to deal with them, just like cats:

“Get your hands off of me, filthy human!”

2) It has not been yet confirmed as an epidemic

Before you start running around with a surgical mask on your face, you should know this: the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) still hasn’t announced MERs as an epidemic , not yet anyway. Global organizations like the WHO (World Health Organization) confirm that the virus is indeed contagious, but it hasn’t reached the epidemic state.

“No, this will not look cute on you.”

According to the WHO, to get infected you have to be in close contact with a patient: that means you actually have to live with them or spend long hours around them. In fact, in Jordan, quite a few cases of those who unfortunately passed away from Coronavirus were nurses. So, if you are not being careful around a patient, you can’t really blame the virus for wanting “to share a few secrets with you”.

3) The virus could have mutated through bats and camels

Camels are evil; I have been trying to convince my friends of this for years. But could they have been plotting to conquer us by spreading MERs all along?

“Common babe, it’s just a kiss!”

Research has shown that the source of the infection may have been from camels. Strains of MERs have been found in camels that matched human strains. The evidence is still not very conclusive, but this may be a very strong likelihood.

 4) There is no vaccine yet, but simple hygiene can help.

I am terribly sorry to inform you, but you cannot get vaccinated against MERs just yet. What you can do however is this: follow simple hygienic tips. Example: Do not sneeze in the face of everyone you love; although we know you really love them, but this has to stop.

Logical, no?

“Having manners has never saved so many lives.”

Simple hygienic activities like washing your hands, using hand wipes and avoiding coughing or sneezing in public, are what we all need to do to avoid getting the infection for now. Until our doctors can provide us with something more, you know, MEDICAL.

5) This should NOT affect your travel plans

Contrary to what many will tell you, MERs should not affect your travel plans. There hasn’t been any travel bans to Saudi Arabia or any other country in the Arabian Peninsula. And people living in these countries are freely able to travel anywhere without restrictions.

Do you know anything about MERs that we don’t? Let us know in the comments below!


About Omar Jubran

When a geeky engineer decides to write, you can expect trouble. Omar is all about science and reports on the social issues facing the day-to-day Jordanian. His mantra: Each voice makes a difference.