MERS means ride camels with masks, and pass on the camel burger?

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About 500 people have died from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) believed to be transmitted by camels. And now Saudi Arabia is issuing a warning to camel handlers. This warning should go into effect for tourists who seek out the thrill of a camel ride as well.

Saudi Arabia is saying that anyone coming into contact with camels should wear both masks and gloves. They believe the MERS coronavirus, similar to SARS, is being spread by camel.

SARS skilled 800 people worldwide and there is no vaccine or anti-viral treatment to fight it.

The focus point of the MERS outbreak has been Saudi Arabia. Of the 500 that have died from the disease, 480 were in Saudi Arabia. Social media sites are percolating with news that the Saudi government isn’t handling the disease in an appropriate way.

Muslim pilgrims are expected to flock to Saudi Arabia in July, spreading fears among those making the journey to Mecca as part of Hajj.

Camels have a special place in the heart of Saudi society. While scientists worldwide are debating MERS and the link to camels, Saudi Arabia has remained quite hush hush.

There is a link between consuming camel meat and milk and the virus may be transmitted by consuming these items. Saudis whose livelihood depends on camel milk and meat are denying the link, according to Arab News. We hope readers who use these products be vigilant in at least making sure they are pasteurized or cooked well.

Image of camel and MERS from Shutterstock

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