Middle-age, unhealthy men more likely to get MERS-CoV

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Arizona State University (ASU) researchers told attendees at the 2015 International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases this week that middle-age men are more likely to get Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) rather than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

"An unusually high number of MERS-CoV cases are males with a median age of 50 years old, who have multiple chronic conditions," Charis Royal, an ASU researcher, said. "SARS-CoV, on the other hand, infects males and females nearly equally, and both healthy and unhealthy individuals can be infected.”

Although MERS-CoV, a viral respiratory illness, infects fewer people, its mortality rate is higher than that of   SARS-CoV.

Both of the illnesses are known to spread quickly throughout hospitals with approximately 21 percent of both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV infections occurring in hospital workers.

Using research from the World Health Organization, scientists intend to understand how MERS-CoV spreads so that they can better treat patients.

"The research conducted in this study focuses on understanding what population of individuals are most likely to become infected by MERS-CoV, compared to the population infected by SARS-CoV," Royal said.

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