Tuesday, March 28News For London

Camel Flu warning for England fans returning from the World Cup

Picture credit: Unplash

Football fans returning from Qatar are being told by WHO and UKSHA to look out for the symptoms of camel flu which is 10 times deadlier than covid and has the potential to spread and cause a pandemic in the future.

Camel flu is MERS-CoV, usually referred to as MERS, and is a rare but serious respiratory disease. It can be diagnosed with similar symptoms to covid 19 but it can cause more risk to health symptoms are fever and cough, and it can progress to pneumonia and cause breathing problems.

Picture Credits: Neha Tekawade and Rishab Shaju

Camel flu is a zoonotic virus and can be spread from humans to animals. There is proof that the virus is mostly spread by camels in the Middle East. Droplets from a cough can also transmit MERS from one person to another. However, unless people are in close proximity to one another, it does not appear to be extremely contagious.

Cases of the flu could now rise due to the huge numbers of England Fans who flocked to the Middle Eastern country for the tournament and who may have been exposed to camels. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has prompted doctors to look out for people suffering from breathing difficulties and fever. The illness is deadlier than Covid-19, with over a third of its sufferers dying, compared to less than 4 per cent of Covid sufferers.

According to The Sun, the HSA distributed a briefing note, stating: “Clinicians and public health teams, in particular, should be on the lookout for MERS among returning World Cup visitors.”

“The risk of infection for citizens of the UK is extremely low, although it may be increased for people who have been exposed to particular risk factors in the region, like camels”.

In addition, the briefing also notified it is “person-to-person transmission”.

MERS is first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and As the number of cases increases globally, advisories have been issued. From April 2012 to October 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) received reports of 2,600 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV and 935 deaths that were related worldwide.

Following the onset of cold-like symptoms in a UK resident who had recently travelled to Uganda, where the virus is rife, similar tactics caused an Ebola concern there last month. Doctors try to relieve a patient’s symptoms because there is no specific treatment for the sickness. About 35% of those who contract MERS pass away as a result.

There have been no confirmed cases of camel flu among returning England fans as of last night.