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SARS treatments could work for new Middle East virus

Tuesday September 17th, 2013

Treatments that worked on the SARS coronavirus are the key for the development of therapies for the lethal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), it has been claimed.

A paper published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases looks at the different treatment models of SARS and concludes that because of their similarities, treatments that worked on SARS corona virus will also work for the newly discovered strain.

It is therefore important that people with the MERS-CoV should be identified and treated before they have chance to infect others.

Dr Eskild Petersen, of Aarhus University, Denmark, and journal editor, said: “The publication of this paper is important and particularly timely because the two viruses are similar and there is a high probability that a treatment which worked for SARS, also could work for MERS-CoV.

“Providing a review of published treatment series for SARS will make it much easier to determine possible treatments for MERS-CoV and avoid treatments which do not work.”

MERS-CoV, was first found a year ago in a patient who died but it took several months before it was discovered that a new virus had emerged.

New cases have been reported from Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, while France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom have reported imported cases coming from the Middle East. The virus has since been identified in just over 90 patients, more than half of whom have died from the infection.

Momattin H, Mohammed K et al. Therapeutic Options for novel Coronavirus infections including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - possible lessons from a systematic review of SARS therapy. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. September 2013. DOI 10.1016/j.ijid.2013.07.002). [abstract]

Tags: Asia | Europe | Flu & Viruses | Respiratory

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