Skip to comments.'MERS' Makes Its Debut in a Scientific Journal
Posted on 05/19/2013 3:24:36 PM PDT by neverdem
A group of coronavirus experts has published its proposal to name a new, deadly virus after the Middle East, the region where it originates. In a short paper published online today by the Journal of Virology, the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG), along with several other scientists, recommends calling the pathogen Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-Cov).
As ScienceInsider reported last week, the group, part of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, hopes to end confusion about the name of the virus. It was initially called human coronavirus-EMC in a paper by its discoverer, Egyptian microbiologist Ali M. Zaki, and Ron Fouchier of Erasmus MC in the Netherlands, enlisted by Zaki to help characterize the virus. Since then, a plethora of other names has been used. The paper's authors write:
After careful consideration and broad consultation, the CSG has decided to call the new coronavirus "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus" (MERS-CoV). This name is endorsed by the discoverers of the virus and other researchers that pioneered MERS-CoV studies, by the World Health Organization and by the Saudi Ministry of Health. We strongly recommend the use of this name in scientific and other communications.
Apart from the nine members of the Coronavirus Study Group, the authors include Zaki, Fouchier, Saudi Deputy Minister for Public Health Ziad Memish, Caroline Brown of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) European office in Copenhagen, and Maria Zambon of the U.K. Health Protection Agency, who identified the second known coronavirus case in September.
Geographical names are often controversial because they can be seen as stigmatizing, but CSG chair Raoul de Groot of Utrecht University in the Netherlands says that the reference to the Middle East was eventually acceptable to all. He hopes that the paper will end the debate. "It's good for communication that the field has found a name that is supported by many," De Groot writes in an -email to ScienceInsider. "At the moment, there are more important issues with regard to MERS and MERS-CoV to focus on."
Today, WHO reported two new MERS cases in Saudi Arabia, part of a cluster linked to a hospital in the country's Eastern Province that now numbers 21 cases. Worldwide, there have been 40 confirmed cases, WHO says, including 20 deaths.
I think “muzzi” virus would have been a better name.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my combined microbiology/immunology ping list.
“Worldwide, there have been 40 confirmed cases, WHO says, including 20 deaths.”
50 percent mortality rate ain’t good.
True, but doubtless they will call it the Jew Flu...
Post to me or FReep mail to be on/off the Bring Out Your Dead ping list.
The purpose of the Bring Out Your Dead ping list (formerly the Ebola ping list) is very early warning of emerging pandemics, as such it has a high false positive rate.
So far the false positive rate is 100%.
At some point we may well have a high mortality pandemic, and likely as not the Bring Out Your Dead threads will miss the beginning entirely.
*sigh* Such is life, and death...
i am so impressed by all the good coming from the ME, but i think they will have to call it Jew Flu Two
40 confirmed cases doesn’t sound that scary.
Ping...(Thanks, neverdem and nully, for the pings!)
Sheesh, the location name is only an issue cause of jihadists.
Can’t offend the muzzies.
Get over it.
If confirmed, that is not good.
It means SARS has become easier to catch.
Great. Going to be a great summer.
Silly, viruses aren’t alive!
I am not yet deeply concerned with this, because it is not following the explosive growth pattern of a really deadly plague. Timetable does matter, because if growth is too slow, the number of infection “dead ends” eventually extinguishes the pathogen.
Several other variables are first, that infection favors milder strains, that pulmonary spread is greatest at 40F and low humidity, that the pathogen has common insect, animal, or contamination vectors, etc.
A plague like the Spanish flu was remarkable for *not* following these typical rules. Infection favored more lethal strains; it spread easiest in warm, humid climates; and it spread easily without obvious vectors (because of its novelty, much less of the virus was needed to infect).
Plagues tend to spread both like a wildfire, unevenly, and in waves, coming on strongly in an area, only to ebb, then returning strongly, over and over again.
Thus, added all up, this Saudi sickness might create a regional problem and kill several hundred, but as of yet it is showing no signs of turning into a pandemic or even a major plague.
Thanks for the ping!
You’re Welcome, Alamo-Girl!
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