- This just in July 22
In a scientific paper published Tuesday, scientists suggested that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) may be airborne. The disease has already claimed at least 288 lives since its appearance in 2012.
Researchers at King Fahd Medical Research Center in Saudi Arabia analyzed air samples from an infected camel barn, and the samples tested positive for a strain of the viral genome MERS RNA, CNN reports. The possibility of MERS being airborne has been in question after reports found that some infected people had close contact with other MERS patients. The WHO recommends that "airborne precautions should be applied" when treating MERS, in case the disease may spread through air particles.
"These data show evidence for the presence of the airborne MERS in the same barn that was owned by the patient and sheltered the infected camels," the study authors said in a statement. However, doctors are still looking into the difference between dead and live virus particles and are unsure whether MERS can be transmitted through aerosols. Watch CNN's report on the spread of MERS below. --Meghan DeMaria
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
Subscribe to the Week