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Study: MERS-CoV may have been in Saudi camels 22 years agoStudy: MERS-CoV may have been in Saudi camels 22 years ago

first_imgThe most thorough survey yet of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia’s camel population shows that the virus is found in camels throughout the country and that it or a closely related virus has probably circulated in the animals since at least 1992, according to a report released today in mBio.The study adds to the already considerable evidence suggesting that camels are a source of human MERS infections, but it doesn’t prove it, says the report by a Saudi-US team of researchers.The findings also raise the question whether the virus was circulating silently in humans for years before the first cases were detected in 2012, the authors say.The researchers collected blood, nasal, and rectal samples from camels around Saudi Arabia last year and found that 74% of them carried antibodies to MERS-CoV. Further, they found pieces of the virus itself in 35% of young camels and 15% of adult camels. Testing of preserved camel serum samples revealed antibodies to the virus in samples dating back to 1992.”Adult camels were more likely to have antibodies to the virus while juveniles were more likely to have active virus,” W. Ian Lipkin, MD, senior author of the study, commented in a press release from the American Society for Microbiology, publisher of mBio. “This indicates that infection in camels typically occurs in early life, and that if people get the virus from camels the most likely source is young camels.”The suspicion that dromedary camels may pass MERS-CoV to humans has been building for months. Multiple serologic studies have pointed to MERS-CoV–like antibodies in camels in several countries, including Oman, Egypt, the Canary Islands, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.In mid-December, scientists found that three camels on a Qatari farm were infected with MERS-CoV strains very similar to those in two people who owned and worked at the farm. But they couldn’t discern if the camels had passed the virus to the people or vice versa, or if both hosts acquired it from some other source.Bats are also suspected as a reservoir of the virus because they harbor related coronaviruses. In 2013, Lipkin’s team reported finding a virus fragment that suggested MERS-CoV in a bat fecal sample from a site near the home of the first Saudi Arabian infected with the virus, but the finding was not regarded as conclusive. The new report notes that the Saudi Arabian patient owned four pet camels.Nationwide surveyThe scientists collected samples from 203 camels in five regions of Saudi Arabia in November and December of 2013 and analyzed 264 archived samples collected from 1992 through 2010.In the serologic study, 150 of 203 camels sampled in 2013 had MERS-CoV antibodies. Antibodies were significantly more common in adult camels (older than 2 years) than in younger camels: 93 of 98 (95%) versus 57 of 104 (55%).In the archived samples, the prevalence of antibodies to MERS-CoV (or a MERS-CoV-like virus) ranged from 72% to 100%. As in the 2013 specimens, antibodies were more common in adult camels than in calves. The prevalence of reactivity was high even in the oldest samples: for example, 2 of 2 samples from 1993 and 114 of 123 from 1994.The results from the archived samples “strongly suggest that MERS-CoV or a closely related virus has been circulating in DC [dromedary camels] in the KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] for at least two decades,” the authors write.The team used reverse transcription–quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) to look for two segments of the MERS-CoV genome in nasal and rectal swabs from the camels. Pieces of the virus were found significantly more often in young camels than in adults: 36 of 194 (35%) versus 15 of 98 (15%). The five samples with the most viral material all came from juvenile camels.Viral fragments were found mainly in the nasal samples; only three rectal specimens tested positive. No virus was found in blood from a random selection of camels whose nasal or rectal samples had tested positive. These findings suggest, the authors say, that the virus most likely spreads by the airborne route.The camels that tested positive for MERS-CoV sequences showed no signs of illness, according to Thomas Briese, PhD, of Columbia University, a co-author of the study. “The camels were regular animals; no overt disease signs were recorded,” he told CIDRAP News.The researchers also tested a number of goats and sheep for MERS-CoV antibodies and sequences. They found no evidence of MERS-CoV antibodies, though some of the animals had antibodies to bovine coronavirus, a relative of MERS-CoV. None of the goats or sheep tested positive by RT-qPCR.Still no proof of linkThe authors say their findings do not prove that camels are essential for fueling transmission of MERS-CoV in humans, but they do provide evidence that camels are “sufficient to maintain” the virus.”The camels clearly have the virus, it’s circulating there, so there is opportunity to infect,” said Briese. “The question is, what is the pathway, how does it get to the humans. . . . That has to be investigated now.” He observed that many humans who were infected did not have a history of contact with camels.The scientists write that there are unpublished data showing that complete MERS-CoV genomic sequences from Saudi Arabian camels are identical to sequences from human patients. But what is still needed to establish that camels are passing the virus to humans is “rigorous epidemiologic investigation of the potential for exposure to DC in sporadic cases of MERS-CoV” (cases in humans who had no exposure to other MERS patients).If a camel link in the outbreak is established, it will raise the question of whether the virus became a human pathogen only in 2012, when the first cases surfaced, or was circulating silently in humans well before then, the scientists write. They say it may be possible to address this question by studying archived human samples.If no evidence of human infection before 2012 can be found, it would suggest the possibility that a mutation in the virus facilitated its jump from camels (or other animals) to humans, they add. But to test that hypothesis would require testing historical camel respiratory tract samples, which the scientists said they have been unable to find.Another research avenue is to look further at other animals, said Briese. “What’s still open is looking at other potential animal species that could link or transfer the virus,” he said. He mentioned rodents, cats, and dogs as some animals to consider, given their contact with humans.Welcome findings, persistent questionsOther experts welcomed the findings but agreed that key questions about the role of camels remain.”I think this study shows definitively that MERS-CoV is a camel virus,” Marion Koopmans, DVM, PhD, told CIDRAP News. Koopmans is head of virology at the Laboratory for Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands.”What is still unclear is how people get infected, if it is directly through animal contact, via environmental contamination, or some unknown other source. For that the detailed studies, planned in collaboration with WHO, are needed,” she added.Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, called the study “very well done,” and added that a key question now is whether the virus that’s circulating today is the same one that was in camels 20 years ago. He is director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News.He said research is needed on the possibility that MERS-CoV was circulating under the radar in humans before 2012, but there’s no evidence of that so far.If there were no human cases before 2012, it points in the direction of a recent mutation that equipped the virus to infect humans, Osterholm commented. “There’s some event that’s resulted in transmission from animals to humans,” he said.Alagaili AN, Briese T, Mishra N, et al. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection in Dromedary Camels in Saudi Arabia. mBio 2014 Feb 25 (Early online publication) [Abstract]See also: Feb 25 ASM press releaseJan 30 CIDRAP News item on evidence of MERS-CoV in UAE camels in 2005Jan 3 CIDRAP News story on evidence of MERS CoV in UAE camels in 2003Dec 16, 2013, CIDRAP News story on detection of MERS-CoV in camels on Qatar farm linked to human caseslast_img read more

CDC: First US MERS case likely passed virus to Illinois manCDC: First US MERS case likely passed virus to Illinois man

first_imgFederal health officials today said blood tests have found evidence of infection in an Illinois man who had close contact with the patient who had the United States’ first case of imported Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).This represents the nation’s first known secondary infection in ongoing investigations into illnesses involving two health professionals, the other one from Florida, who became ill after traveling from Saudi Arabia.The Illinois man met with the patient twice in a face-to-face business setting shortly before the first patient’s illness was detected, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. The first patient, who had worked in a Riyadh hospital before traveling to the United States, was admitted to an Indiana hospital on Apr 28, where his illness was confirmed May 2. He was released from the hospital on May 9.At a media briefing today, David Swerdlow, MD, who leads the CDC’s MERS response, said the case sheds more light on the spectrum of the disease and its transmission patterns. “We still don’t think this virus transmits easily, but it does transmit,” he said.Swerdlow said the Illinois man met with the Indiana patient on Apr 25 once for 30 to 40 minutes, then met with him again briefly on Apr 26. The Indiana patient had traveled back to Illinois by car to see his business associate and was sick with fever and muscle aches during the meeting, though he reportedly didn’t have respiratory symptoms at that time. The two men shook hands and were within 6 feet of each other.Swerdlow said health officials were concerned enough about the level of contact the two had to place the Illinois man among the group of 60 close contacts of the Indiana man that health officials have been following with testing and health monitoring.During the follow-up investigation, local health officials contacted the Illinois man on May 3 and tested him for active MERS infection May 5. Public health workers have also been monitoring his health, and though he had mild coldlike symptoms, he has not sought or received medical care.Initial tests were negative, but health officials have been collecting blood samples from close contacts of the Indiana patient to check for asymptomatic infections. Late last night preliminary blood tests showed that the Illinois man had developed antibodies to the MERS virus and had likely been infected by the Indiana patient, the CDC said.The Illinois man was previously healthy, is feeling well, and has been on home isolation since early May, which Swerdlow pointed out has limited his number of contacts. He said health officials are now monitoring and testing that man’s contacts, using the same protocols they did for the patients in Indiana and Florida.Transmission risk considerationsMost MERS infections have occurred in the Middle East or have been directly linked to a case in that region. Though sporadic imported cases have been occurring since early in the outbreak, secondary infections have been more rare but did occur after primary cases were detected in the United Kingdom, France, and Tunisia.Global and national health officials have said the risk of secondary infections is low and limited mainly to people who had unprotected, close contact with MERS patients, such as family members or healthcare workers. Today’s CDC announcement raises questions about the level of contact that puts people at risk, with a business meeting presumably reflecting a lower level of contact than a care-giving scenario involving a sick family member or hospital patient.Swerdlow told reporters that the virus still doesn’t appear to spread among humans easily in a sustained way, but he added that aggressive testing will not only help flesh out transmission patterns but also reveal more about what appears to be a broader range of severity for the disease, from no symptoms to severe and sometimes fatal pneumonia. “We don’t understand a lot about how the virus is transmitting, so we’re casting a wide net, hoping to learn more,” he said. “Our most important point is that doctors should be vigilant.””We don’t think this changes the risk to the general public or public health practices,” Swerdlow said.The Illinois man’s illness, though considered the third US infection, won’t be reflected in the global MERS count, because positive serology results aren’t included in the World Health Organization (WHO) case definition for MERS, Swerdlow said.Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, said one case doesn’t change the picture and the event is consistent with other examples of MERS spread.Though the risk of transmission still appears to be low, he said there’s a lot that is still not known about the disease—for example, whether some patients are “super shedders” who are more likely to transmit the disease to others. Osterholm has traveled to the Middle East to consult on the MERS outbreak.”All of us should be more careful to describe the risk to the public,” Osterholm said, adding that the message should be balanced and not “oversell” a lack of risk.Saudi Arabia reports nine cases, five deathsIn other MERS developments today, Saudi Arabia’s ministry of health (MOH) announced nine new cases along with five more deaths, all from areas that have been the epicenters of the outbreak during a surge of infections that began in March.Jeddah and Medina reported three cases each, two infections occurred in Riyadh, and one was in Mecca. All patients are younger or middle-aged adults, and only one was reported to have an underlying medical condition. Two are in critical condition, six are listed as stable, and one is asymptomatic.Illness onsets range from Apr 27 through May 16, and hospitalization admission dates range from May 2 to May 16.Only one patient, a 36-year-old woman from Riyadh who has an asymptomatic infection, was reported to have had contact with a MERS patient. No other exposures, such as contact with camels or animal environments, were listed for the other patients.Health experts who were part of a recent WHO mission to Saudi Arabia said healthcare-acquired infections appear to be amplifying what may be a seasonal increase in MERS. However, over the past several weeks, the Saudi officials have not said whether any of the infected patients are healthcare workers.Some unusual details were listed for three of today’s patients. One is a 33-year-old woman from Jeddah who first started having respiratory symptoms on Apr 27 and was admitted to the hospital on May 2. The first two rounds of MERS tests were negative, but the third-round tests were positive.In two other cases, patients left health facilities in Medina but were then hospitalized, one of them after initially refusing to be tested. One is a 36-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital on May 13 after coming down with a fever but was discharged against medical advice on May 15. He was readmitted to another hospital the next day.The other patient, a 37-year-old man, started having respiratory symptoms on May 6 and visited an emergency department on May 10, where he refused to be tested for MERS. On May 16 he was admitted to another hospital where he is receiving treatment in the intensive care unit).Fatal cases announced today include patients whose illnesses were reported earlier, between Apr 23 and May 14. All of them were adults aged 55 to 80 years old. One of the patients died on May 11 and the other four died on May 16.Today’s announcement bumps Saudi Arabia’s MERS total to 529 cases 168 deaths from the disease.See also:May 17 CDC press releaseMay 17 Saudi MOH statement on 9 casesSaudi MERS page with case countCDC MERS guidance for health professionalslast_img read more

UP pulls another shocker to stun Adamson in UAAPUP pulls another shocker to stun Adamson in UAAP

first_img[/av_textblock][/av_one_full] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’UP pulls another shocker to stun Adamson in UAAP’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”]By ADRIAN STEWART CO[/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]MANILA – The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons cruised to its second straight win in the UAAP 79 men’s seniors basketball tournament with a 70-66 victory over the Adamson University Falcons on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.Anton Manuel and Andres Desiderio led the way with 16 points apiece, while Juani Gomez de Llano added 13 markers for the Maroons, which moved up to solo sixth place in the standings with a 3-6 win-loss slate.The Maroons took the early lead in the match behind Manuel and Desiderio but the Falcons turned things around for an 18-8 edge behind eight straight points by Nicholas Paranada.The Maroons, however, responded with its own rally in the second frame on three-pointers by Desiderio and Gomez de Llano to tie the score at 29-all. A split from the line by Angelo Vito gave the Maroons a 30-29 halftime lead.The Maroons continued its surge in the third frame as it opened a 39-31 edge behind Gomez de Llano, Manuel and Andrew Harris. After the Falcons cut the deficit to 39-35, the Maroons pulled away anew at 50-40 behind Manuel and Dave Moralde.The Maroons was able to maintain its hot shooting in the fourth frame as it widened the lead to its largest at 65-54 on a triple by Gomez de Llano, but the Falcons made its last push to come to within 65-61 on a triple by Robbie Manalang.The Falcons threatened further with two free throws from Shawn Manganti, but back-to-back baskets from Desiderio and Manuel extended the Maroons’ lead to 69-63 with just 11 seconds remaining on the match.“It was our defense that made it happen for us,” said Maroons head coach Dolreich Perasol. “We were better than our 1-6 record before. We were able to get that composure in the end, we held our own.”Cameroonian import Papi Sarr led the way with double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Manalang added 10 markers for the Falcons (4-5), whose star guard Jerrick Ahanmisi was held scoreless./PNlast_img read more

Vote For The Week Seven NEOSI Jenny’s Old Fashioned Popcorn HS Player Of The WeekVote For The Week Seven NEOSI Jenny’s Old Fashioned Popcorn HS Player Of The Week

first_img Related TopicsfeaturedHS Player Of The Week Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Matt Loedecenter_img The end of the season is just a few weeks away for winter sports in Northeast Ohio, but there’s still plenty of great action on the courts, mats, lanes and on the ice still for local student athletes.Last week was a great week of action around the area, and today we look back to week seven for this week’s edition of the ‘NEOSI Jenny’s Old Fashioned Popcorn HS Player Of The Week’. In our week six edition of voting, it was Kenston Bombers forward Bennett Wenger taking home the week six award, as we had over 440 votes for the local student athletes. Today we take a look at a number deserving student athletes, and give you some of the top performances around the area as we want your voice to be heard for our week seven ‘NEOSI Jenny’s Old Fashioned Popcorn HS Player Of The Week’ award.Don’t forget for all your popcorn needs, you can visit Jenny’s by clicking HEREHere are the rules1 – You can only vote once a day by leaving the players name you want to win in the comment section at the bottom of the article. Again, only one vote per IP address will count.2 – All votes are due Monday night by midnight and the award will be announced shortly after.3 – If you don’t see a player you feel is deserving, send his or her name and stat line to us at our NEOSI Twitter account @NEOSportsInsideHere are the candidates for Week SEVENVASJ Basketball Sophomore Jaden Hameed – Hameed scored a game-high 24 points, hitting seven shots from the field and seven free throws, 16 in the fourth quarter as the Vikings beat Archbishop Hoban 76-74 in a key matchup. The Vikings are 10-3 overall, 3-0 in NCL play. Medina Bees Girls Hoopster Elizabeth Stuart – The sophomore guard scored a career-high 21 points in a win last week for the undefeated Bees as they topped Mentor. All of Stuart’s points came over a 6:30 span, as she hit five triples. She’s also the top tennis player at Medina High School. Berea-Midpark Titans swimmer Lexi Schuller – The senior swimmer last week took home three individual event wins and swam a leg on four relay teams that picked up victories for the Lady Titans in the water. Kent Roosevelt Hockey Forward Nick Krestan – Krestan had two goals and an assist against Chagrin falls on Wednesday night in a win, and this season is one of the top scorers in the area with 19 goals and 14 assists for the Rough Riders. Mayfield Wildcats Basketball star Michael Favazzo – While just 4-10, Favazzo has hit two buzzer beaters against Parma on January 15th and Madison December 11th, and this year became the Wildcats all-time leader in school history in steals, and is averaging 11.4 points, 5.0 steals, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game.Avon Lake Shoremen Diver Michael Slaughter – Friday night Slaughter became the SWC diving champion, as he led the way, going up by 44 points with two dives remaining. Slaughter is in the class of 2020 for the Shoremen. last_img read more

Sunday soccer fixturesSunday soccer fixtures

first_imgIn Division 1 Ballymackey take on Sallypark, Holycross meet Lough Derg, and Ardcroney go up against Cloughjordan.Those games kick off at 11:30am.Then in Division 2 Cloughjordan B take on Templetouhy, and Silvermines meet Borrisokane, also at 11:30am. Photo © – pixabay In today’s NTDL fixtures Starting with the Premier Division:Portumna United face Borroway Rovers at 11:30am in Lorrha, and at the same time it’s Nenagh Celtic v Moneygall. last_img

Football scheduling trickyFootball scheduling tricky

first_imgE-mail: [email protected] A lot of local fans weren’t too thrilled about Utah playing Weber State Saturday night. The thinking was, why must the Utes, a Football Bowl Subdivision team, play against the Wildcats, a Football Championship Subdivision team?You’d better get used to it.Just like BYU had to play Northern Iowa this year and Eastern Washington last year, it’s getting more difficult for FBS teams to find opponents to fill their 12-game schedules.It’s a fact that more than half of FBS teams — 72 of 120 — have FCS teams on their schedules this year. A few like Texas Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech even have two such games against lower-division foes.While I think there’s no excuse for the Texas Techs of the world to play more than one FCS school, it’s not that easy for teams to fill their schedule with 12 FBS schools and not be at a disadvantage with two more road than home games.The problem is everyone wants to get at least six home games. So if a school like Utah, which has an open spot on its 2010 schedule, finds a fellow FBS school with an opening, that school won’t come to Utah if it only has five home games. Just like Utah won’t go somewhere else and end up with five home games and seven road games. So the answer is to find a lower-division school to come to your place. That’s what Utah may end up doing.My thinking is, as long as you have to play a lower-division school, you might as well play a school in close proximity like Utah did with Weber State. Not only does it save on transportation costs for the visiting school, it creates extra interest in the community because of all the local players on the visiting team.Of the 120 FBS schools, how many do you think are still undefeated?Besides BYU and Utah, there are just 16 others. And it’s only September.The Big 12 has five, the SEC has four, and there are two in the Big Ten and Big East, one each in the WAC, MAC and Conference USA. The ACC and Pac-10 have no unbeatens left.Looking ahead to this week’s schedule, the number of unbeatens could go to 10 or even lower.One unbeaten has to lose when Kentucky plays at Alabama. Other vulnerable teams include Vanderbilt, which plays host to No. 13 Auburn; Ball State, which plays at Toledo; South Florida, which plays host to 3-1 Pitt; Texas Tech, which goes to 3-1 Kansas State; and Connecticut, which plays at 3-1 North Carolina.Utah will have a challenge staying unbeaten against Oregon State Thursday night, and other teams that won’t have it easy this week are Texas, which plays at 3-1 Colorado; Missouri, which plays at 3-1 Nebraska; and Tulsa, which hosts a Rice team that scored 77 points against North Texas Saturday in just three quarters.In the “unlikely to lose” category are Oklahoma (at Baylor), Penn State (at Purdue) Oklahoma State (at Texas A&M), Boise State (home to Louisiana Tech) and BYU (at Utah State).Two teams that can’t possibly lose this week are LSU and Northwestern, which both have byes.So much for the mighty Mountain West Conference.After garnering national headlines for much of the month with eye-catching victories, the league landed with a thud Saturday.With two of its top teams, BYU and Air Force, taking the week off, the rest of the league could only manage a 3-4 mark.The wins weren’t that impressive with San Diego State and New Mexico beating WAC weaklings Idaho and New Mexico State, while the other was Utah’s less-than-scintillating win over Weber.Two teams, TCU and Colorado State, got drilled by BCS teams, Oklahoma and California, while Wyoming and UNLV were embarrassed by schools from the MAC and WAC, respectively — the Cowboys losing to Bowling Green by 29 and the Rebels falling to in-state rival Nevada by 22. The MWC still has a 21-10 non-conference record, which is on track to be the best in league history. But Saturday’s blowout losses tarnish what has been a terrific season to date. last_img read more