"Every case has had some direct contact with the Arabian Peninsula," said Dr. David Swerdlow, the head of the MERS monitoring team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "If the virus doesn't generally infect more than one person, it's not going to lead to sustained transmission," Swerdlow added. "We are watching carefully the situation in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., and we are watching for evidence of sustained transmission, which would be a very big cause of concern. Are we concerned? Yes, we are, but we've also been concerned for a year and a half."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following definition of Coronaviruses (CoV): "Coronaviruses are common viruses that most people get some time in their life. Human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses. Coronoviruses are named for the crown like spikes on their surface. There are three main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta and gamma, and a fourth provisionally assigned new group called delta coronoviruses. Human CoV were first identified in the mid 1960's. The five CoV that can infect humans are: alpha CoV229E and NL63 and beta CoV 0C43, and SARS-CoV, the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome. CoV may also infect animals. Most of these usually infect only one species or at most a small number of closely related species. However, SARS-CoV can infect humans and animals, including monkeys, Himalayan palm civets, raccoon dogs, cats, dogs and rodents." See: http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/index.html
"A reassortment may produce a highly virulent strain because strong genetic shift makes it "unfamiliar" to the immune system of most humans. which allows the virus to spread efficiently throughout the population. This evolutionary scenario is known as antigenic shift. Another path, knowns as antigenic drift is a process of gradual accumulation of smaller mutations. These mutations cause changes in the viral antigenic proteins, primarily the surface antigens hemagglutinin (HA) and the neuraminidase (NA). The genes coding for these proteins evolve rapidly in the course of the arms race between the virus and immune system. The seasonal flu outbreaks are primarily caused by this antigenic drift, — explains Georgii Bazykin. — Hence every year many of us catch a flu caused by a new strain of the constantly evolving virus.”Both processes are due to changes in the viral genome, but of a different degree. The differences in the seasonal flu usually result from point mutations in the influenza virus genes, while major pandemics are often connected to profound genetic shifts known as reassortments." See: http://globalbiodefense.com/2014/01/13/prediction-of-the-future-flu-virus/#sthash.rAogNrOn.dpuf When we consider antigenic shift and pandemics, MERS may be more concerning. "Drs. David Morens and Anthony Fauci warn in a new paper:
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