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Important to Know, This is the Difference between the SARS and MERS viruses or Camel Flu! | Good Doctor

Before the emergence of COVID-19, there were two respiratory tract infections that had been epidemic, namely SARS and Camel Flu (MERS). Both are often considered the same but different. What is the difference between the SARS and Camel Flu (MERS) viruses?

To know more details, let’s look at the following review!

Also read: COVID-19 Can Affect the Digestive System, These Are Symptoms to Watch Out For!

Get to know SARS and MERS

the sars and mers viruses

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a respiratory tract infection caused by SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). SARS first appeared in China in November 2002, but was only identified in February 2003.

Meanwhile Middle East respiratory syndrome Camel Flu (MERS) is a respiratory disease that is also caused by a coronavirus, to be precise Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus (MERS-CoV).

Camel Flu (MERS) was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. MERS is different from COVID-19. Because the type of corona virus that causes it is not the same.

Origin of the SARS and MERS viruses

You need to know that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory diseases, including the common cold. This virus is zoonotic, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans.

The difference between the SARS and Camel Flu (MERS) viruses can also be identified from the origin of the virus. It is thought that the origin of the SARS virus originated in bats and then infected civet cats before eventually moving to humans.

In the case of MERS-CoV, studies have shown that it also originated in bats, but infected camels and was transmitted to humans.

The difference between the SARS and MERS viruses is based on their spread

Quoted from page MedicalNewsToday, SARS-CoV can be spread through close contact as well as droplets (liquid droplets or splashes) from coughing or sneezing. The body can absorb respiratory droplets through the mucous membranes in the mouth, nose and eyes.

On the other hand, SARS can also be transmitted through sharing eating and drinking utensils. Not only that, SARS can also be spread indirectly by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.

Meanwhile, Camel Flu (MERS) spreads from animals to humans. Camels are said to be the main source of the virus. However, MERS can also be passed from person to person through droplets from coughs, especially in close contact.

Also read: SARS disease

Symptoms of the SARS and MERS viruses

Furthermore, the differences between the SARS and MERS viruses can be known based on the time the symptoms appear.

When SARS infection occurs, symptoms can appear between 2-7 days after exposure to the virus. However, it can also take up to 10 days. The initial symptoms that appear are a high fever of more than 38.0°C.

Some also experience mild respiratory symptoms, similar to those of the flu. Other early symptoms can also include pain, fever, and diarrhea. These symptoms can develop within 7 days.

After 7-10 days other symptoms may appear, including dry cough, shortness of breath, and hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the body). In more serious cases, pneumonia can occur.

Whereas in MERS, symptoms usually appear within 5-6 days after exposure to the virus, but it may also take 2-14 days. The most common symptoms of MERS are fever, cough and shortness of breath.

While other symptoms can include disorders of the digestive system, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Pneumonia is a complication of MERS.

The MERS virus can cause more serious symptoms in several conditions, including a compromised immune system, as well as certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes.

Treatment of SARS and MERS

Until now, research on the development of the SARS vaccine is still being carried out. In the case of SARS, supportive care can be carried out, including the use of drugs to relieve symptoms of SARS, such as cough and fever.

Not only that, efforts to prevent the transmission of SARS must also be carried out, such as washing hands frequently, avoiding touching the eyes, mouth and nose with hands that have not been cleaned, and avoiding sharing eating utensils.

Meanwhile for MERS, until now there is still no vaccine or specific treatment to prevent or treat MERS.

However, several MERS-CoV vaccines and specific treatments are currently under development. Thus quoted from the official site World Health Organization (WHO).

Treatment of MERS is supportive and based on the clinical condition of the patient. Reducing symptoms and the risk of complications is the main focus of treatment for MERS at this time. For patients who experience severe symptoms, intensive care in a hospital is required.

On the other hand, preventive measures for MERS also need to be taken, such as washing hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds, avoiding consuming undercooked meat, or avoiding contact with sick camels.

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