Saturday, November 30, 2013

Qatar, Camels, And the Coronavirus



# 2020




Although I’m not seeing much news on the UAE family cluster of MERS this morning in the Arabic press (see Following The UAE MERS Cluster) there appears to be ample coverage over fears of camels being infected by the virus.  So much so, that tomorrow the Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health will hold a special press conference .


Corona virus Tomorrow: hold the Supreme Council of Health held a press conference tomorrow ... # Qatar # News

Hold the Supreme Council of Health held a press conference on Sunday at half past twelve at the headquarters of the Council on the first case of infection with Corona for three camels in Qatar, which recently announced the latest developments. Will speak at the conference a number of senior officials in the Supreme Council of Health and the Ministry of Environment.


Another press reports tells us of rising concerns that camels are being imported into Qatar without testing for the MERS coronavirus, and also question’s Qatar’s ability to adequately detect the virus. Camel owners are calling for mobile veterinarian clinics to visit camel farms and inspect and vaccinate their herds.


The problem of course being, there is currently no vaccine available for the MERS coronavirus.  And as far as imported camels are concerned, we’ve no idea if they are the source of the virus, or if the virus is being acquired locally.


The following report comes from The Peninsula.


MERS: Ministry slammed for not checking imported camels

November 30, 2013 - 5:08:48 am

DOHA: Camel owners are critical of the Ministry of Environment and say it doesn’t carry out medical check-ups on the animals imported from a neighbouring country.

Owners claim that when it was earlier announced that the dreaded Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus spread from camels in Saudi Arabia, the animals brought from there should be checked.

One owner said he suspected that camels could also contract the virus through fodder and yet the fodder isn’t tested.

A camel owner, Musfir Al Marri, told the local Arabic daily Al Raya that in recent years camels were being ignored by authorities. “Not enough attention is being paid to the animal wealth of the country although their collective value could be billions of riyals.”

According to Al Marri, after three camels have been detected with the virus, there is panic among camel owners.


 (Continue . . . )


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