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MERS Asymptomatic Camel Cluster In Qatar
Recombinomics Commentary 09:30
November 28, 2013

“We can confirm that the 3 camels were investigated among a herd of 14 camels, and the samples were collected as part of the epidemiological investigation in coordination between the Public Health Department and the Department of Animal Resources.

It is to be noted that none of the 14 camels showed any sign of disease when the samples were collected. As a precautionary measure, the 14 camels were put in quarantine since the initial sampling and after 40 days as of now, none have shown any symptom or sign of the disease.”

The above comments from the Qatar Supreme Council of Health (SCH) describe the lab confirmation of MERS in 3 asymptomatic camels (see map) linked to two recently confirmed cases (the 61M owner of the barn, as well as an ex-patriot (23M) who worked for the owner.  Both cases have recovered and the younger case was mild.

The detection of MERS in asymptomatic camels follows a report from the Kingdom of Saudi Ministry of Health (KSA-MoH) of lab confirmation in a symptomatic camel linked to a confirmed case (43M) who was in critical condition.  7 additional asymptomatic camels were quarantined and are under investigation.

The detection of MERS in the four camels cited above raises serious concerns, since there camels were linked to confirmed cases and the camels reported by the SCH were asymptomatic.  These PCR confirmed  cases increases the likelihood that the MERS-related antibodies detected in racing Camels on Oman and camels imported from Sudan for slaughter in Egypt were also due in MERS-CoV infections.

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