Even though I come from the Middle East I am extremely surprised that I did not know about a disease that is named after the Middle East since it actually started there. This disease is  MERS (which is the abbreviation of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). This disease was first diagnosed in the Middle East as the name suggests, but more specifically in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The causative agent of this is a virus known as the coronavirus,  MERS-CoV. This disease has a very high mortality rate that could reach all the way up to 50%. The symptoms of this disease are like any other respiratory disease however more severe as the mortality rate entails. These symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The virus was named coronavirus because its shape was compared to that of a crown, and that is evident in the picture where it is circular and has round spikes around it

(Photo credit: Cynthia Goldsmith, Maureen Metcalfe, Azaibi Tamin).Image

Even though MERS-CoV is extremely virulent and causes a high mortality rate, the rest of the coronaviruses are not as virulent and are common and will infect a person throughout their life time. One important exception is the SARS-CoV (initial outbreak in Asia in 2003) that is extremely similar to MERS-CoV and just as virulent. For the infections that are caused by the Coronavirus there is no treatment, but you can reduce the risk of getting infected by being hygienic and following the protocol if you are in contact with sick people. This virus is extremely interesting and the virulent types are recent, therefore still require a lot of research, however it is one of the extremely interesting viruses, since not only does it look like a crown but it can cause diseases that range from mild symptoms to severe respiratory symptoms.

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