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Saturday, November 30, 2013

MERS-CoV: Are Officials Trying To Play Down This Deadly Disease?

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MERS-CoV is a novel virus that first came to the attention of the medical community in 2012. A relative of the SARS virus, MERS- CoV attacks its victims lungs and kidneys with a ferocity that leaves SARS in the dust. Of the 168 people confirmed to have been infected with the virus 68 have, a mortality rate of an atrocious 42.5% compared with SARS relatively "benign" 10% mortality rate.
Now most will say "Come on! Why bust chops over something that has only infected 160 people! More people than that get f*cked up picking up pennies they find on the street each day!'. Well here's why I'm so concerned. For one the mortality rate of this thing is horrible. Out of every 100 people that become infected 42 die. There's also the problem of this disease not being on many practitioners radar so most likely the first indication that the disease has arrived in a community is when people start dropping like flies. I also have a great concern that the medical establishment, at the behest of the world's governments will try (are currently trying) to keep the extent of this disease under raps as not to cause "panic" ( I hate the damned word "panic". I studied disaster behavior for over a year while writing my thesis. I'm of the opinion that more people have died as the result of efforts at avoiding panic than panic itself has ever caused). Take for instance assertions by the medical community that the MERS virus is not easily communicable. Looking at the current number of "laboratory confirmed cases" their case seems convincing. But what I find troubling is that there have been persistent cases of medical personnel contracting the disease from patients in their care including a report of 4 doctors infected by a patient just in the last 24 hours in Abu Dhabi . Even more troubling for me is that many of these cases have occurred in facilities already on high alert for the MERS virus. In other words you have medical professionals on guard for the virus, using the latest technology in infection control getting sick. What does that say for poor slobs like me and you, oblivious and unaware of the dangers surrounding this ferocious killer?
My greatest concern regarding the MERS-CoV virus is that officials are deliberately downplaying the extent of the disease. That would really suck as the only way to truly combat such a threat is through the dissemination of timely and accurate information. The truth will eventually reveal itself,come what may. Better it come out in advance than in the midst of an already out of control pandemic.