SARS coronavirus treatments could treat MERS-CoV

Treatments that worked on the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus would likely work on the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, according to a study recently published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The paper reviewed the experience with different treatment modalities of SARS. The two viruses are both coronaviruses and result in pneumonia as the most significant sign. Eskild Peterson, a clinical associate professor with Aarhus University in Denmark, said the review could make it easier to determine potential treatments for MERS-CoV.

"The publication of this paper is important and particularly timely because the two viruses are similar and there is a high probability that a treatment which worked for SARS, also could work for MERS-CoV," Petersen said. "Providing a review of published treatment series for SARS will make it much easier to determine possible treatments for MERS-CoV and avoid treatments which do not work."

Since the MERS-CoV was discovered about a year ago, there were more than 90 patients infected in the Middle East. Approximately half of all patients died as a result of the infection.

The SARS coronavirus caused a global outbreak 10 years ago, spreading in China, Canada and Hong Kong before it faded out from the use of public health tools like quarantine and isolation.