Deadly Mers Virus Arrives in America: 2nd Case Confirmed in Florida

A Deadly and Mysterious Respiratory Virus, that has been making its way around the Middle East, has now shown up here in America. This makes the second case in the last couple of weeks to show up here in America.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Researchers believe it comes from the same family as the deadly SARS virus that was responsible for a 2003 outbreak that killed over 700 people.

This new novel coronavirus strain has a mortality rate of 30%, causing the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) to last year call it “a threat to the entire world.”

On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler who arrived in the country from Saudi Arabia. A second case was reported yesterday, May 11, 2014, again coming from a traveler who also came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. This patient is currently hospitalized in Florida, and people who had close contact with this patient are being contacted by health officials.

It’s only a matter of time before a Pandemic Sweeps through this Country.

This is what happens when you have a government that is too weak and too considered with political correctness. Instead of immediately suspending flights from the infected countries, our government instead allowed this SARS-like virus to enter our country in order not to offend anyone overseas.

Although the CDC claims these two U.S. cases represent “a very low risk to the general public in this country,” I believe this country’s policies ensure that at some point we will be affected by a major deadly outbreak or pandemic.

In fact, as we reported last month, an unprecedented outbreak of the Ebola Virus is also affecting many areas of the world; showing up in urbanized areas that have health officials very concerned. But just like with the MERS virus, our government is doing very little to protect its citizens and is still allowing people from the affected areas into this country.

We’ve covered these types of stories many times in the past, and all of the experts we’ve talked to agree that it’s not a matter of if, but when. Jason Tetro, a microbiologist with the Emerging Pathogens Research Centre and the Centre for Research on Environmental Microbiology told us, “I believe that the world is becoming increasingly more likely to see a major event.  It’s a process that is highly predictable.”

With the advent of modern travel, the prospect of a pandemic outbreak in today’s world is highly likely, and would likely cause far more deaths than previous pandemics. Tetro said “When one thinks that almost 100 years ago, when we had the 1918 pandemic, it could take months to circumnavigate the globe.  Today, it can be accomplished in a day.  Moreover, with more individuals traveling than ever before, the opportunity for a pandemic strain to spread is greater than it has ever been.”

What can you do you do to protect yourself during a pandemic?

Preparing for the possibility of a Pandemic Outbreak is similar to the preparations you would make for any type of disaster that would leave you without adequate food and water supplies, or access to emergency services for an extended period of time.

I suggest taking the following steps:

Keep an eye on the news: Just like with both the MERS virus and the Ebola Virus that are currently making their way around the globe, most pandemics or novel outbreaks will likely start in less developed areas of the world.

Start Stockpiling Emergency Supplies: The first thing you need to do is make sure you have your essential needs covered. In the case of a pandemic, the essentials include water, shelter, food, sanitation, medications, and personal security.  During a Pandemic, the less contact you have with others, the better your chances are of staying healthy.

Social Distancing is the Key to Avoiding the Outbreak: The best way to improve your chances of staying healthy during a pandemic is to practice social distancing. This means limiting your contact with others, and staying at least 6 feet away from people if you do have to go out.

Stay Clean & Practice Good Hygiene: Just like with all person to person disease, the key to prevention lies in good hygiene. Hand washing is obvious, and when used for 30 seconds even a simple alcohol based hand sanitizer that has between 62 and 75% ethanol can be enough to kill pretty much any pandemic pathogen.

Hospitals & Shelters Should Be Avoided: If you’re sick, then by all means you probably need to consult with a medical professional for medical advice. That being said, hospitals will be ground zero in the war and should be avoided if at all possible. Also, if you can, avoid shelters or areas where large groups of people gather, as disease spreads more quickly in those environments.

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    • Initial symptoms are like a common cold, runny nose, mild productive cough, low grade fever then it mimics pneumonia. So the next time your out and about it will be like when you got done watching contagion in the movie theater. Every time someone coughs next to you it will cross your mind.

  1. Believe it or not, per CDC. the primary way to prevent the spread of disease is washing hands. A good idea, as suggested by the article, is to put together two isolation kits for home and in the car. Each kit, which you put together yourself, and is identical to what is used in hospitals for isolation units, consists of the following: disposable gown, mask, gloves, booties, eye protection (goggles or industrial eye protector), a bag to dispose the kit in, head covering and handwash. (In other words, protection from head to foot) I know some people like to joke about this, but seeing a patient treated with antibiotic and the symptoms continue is scary. I’ve seen it happen. I remember hearing of a case, whereby a nurse had an infection, she passed on to the patients and staff of an entire med surg unit. The result: the patients and staff were put in isolation for a month. Such is the power of a disease.

  2. While the MERS virus is dangerous, it is not very easily transmitted in it’s current state. The reason the govt. is worried about this virus is due to potential to evolve into a virus that spreads more rapidly. As long a people continue to practice the safety precautions mentioned above, the disease should have a lower chance of spreading.

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