Should US travelers be concerned about MERS?

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HOUSTON, TX – Here’s another good reason not to visit the Middle East. MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a virus that proves fatal in 30% of infected patients.

More than 500 cases of the virus – first found in Saudi Arabia have been reported worldwide, with 2 known cases in the U.S. two healthcare workers treating one of the patients in Orlando, both reported flu like symptoms, but they tested negative for MERS.

The Centers for Disease Control went as far as posting warning signs at airports about the outbreak. So, are world travelers worried about getting sick?

Aloyce Kaliba said, “Yes, I’m concerned because there is no treatment for that one and if you get it, you may end up dying.”

Some who are traveling, even to the Middle East, aren’t going to let the virus stop them.

“Every year something new happens but I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal now. It’s controllable I think,” said Husam Yassin from Jordan.

“45 days ago I was in Saudi Arabia. This is the origin of the disease and with all family, my wife and my kids and I was not that worried,” said Muhamad Ihssen who is from Tunisia.

There is no vaccination or treatment for the illness, but it doesn’t pose a global health emergency yet says the World Health Organization.

Porfirio Villarreal with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services is optimistic, “The public is at very low risk because it is not spreading in our community, it has been found in the Arabian Peninsula.”

Well, here’s one reason why wearing veils might not be such a bad idea.


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