Health Highlights: Sept. 12, 201309/12/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Camels May Be Linked to Deadly Respiratory Virus in People
There is growing evidence that camels are the most likely bridge
in the transmission of a lethal respiratory virus between bats and
The virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
has not been detected in camels, but antibodies that react to the
virus have been found in the blood of camels in Sudan, Egypt, Oman
and the Canary Islands,
The New York Timesreported.
The presence of the antibodies suggests that these camels have
recovered from infection with the MERS virus or a closely-related
Many of the 114 people known to have had MERS had no contact
with camels, but the first confirmed or suspected cases in three
separate clusters of patients may have had contact with the
animals, and in two cases, the camels appeared to be ill,
One case involved a 38-year-old man in Saudi Arabia who was a
camel dealer with at least one obviously sick camel. The man died
of what was diagnosed as bacterial pneumonia, but other members of
his family later became ill and were diagnosed with MERS, and two
of them died, according to the Saudi newspaper
In another case, a 73-year-old man in Abu Dhabi became ill
shortly after contact with a sick racing camel in his stable. The
first confirmed case of MERS was a man in Saudi Arabia who had four
Surveillance for the MERS virus in the Middle East is
inadequate, Henry Niman, a Pittsburgh biochemist who tracks viral
The Times. He said too few camels are being tested in
countries with human cases of MERS, and people in poor countries
who fall ill with what might be MERS are not being tested.
Brain-Eating Parasite Survivor Goes Home
A 12-year-old girl who beat the odds by surviving an infection
with a brain-eating parasite went home on Wednesday.
Kali Hardig contracted the infection nine weeks ago at an
Arkansas water park that has since closed,
There have been 128 known infections like Kali's in the United
States in the past 50 years, and she is the only third person to
survive that particular form of parasitic meningitis, according to
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kali underwent intensive therapy at Arkansas Children's Hospital
and takes special medication flown in from Germany. However,
doctors said it was the speed with which her mother, Traci Hardig,
brought her to the hospital that made all the difference,
The girl's doctor said it's hoped that Kali will return to
school on Sept. 16 for the first half of the day, and continue
therapy in the second half of the day.
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