Min menu


Away from Football Fever... Cousin of Covid at the World Cup!


Away from Football Fever... Cousin of Covid at the World Cup!

It seems that "football fever" will not be the only one that could spread at this year's World Cup.

WHO-backed experts fear the "camel flu"

a more deadly cousin to Covid - could be.

Dozens of people have been infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the host country Qatar over the past decade. Up to one-third of those who contract it pass away.

Disease experts listed Middle East respiratory syndrome as one of eight potential "infection risks" that could theoretically appear during the four-week tournament.

"COVID" and ape chickenpox were classified as the most likely threats.

Three academics wrote in the journal New Microbes and New Infection that the World Cup "inevitably poses a risk of infectious diseases."

Professor Patricia Schlagenhaoff

an epidemiologist from the World Health Organization's Collaborating Center for Passenger Health, said this applied to Qatar and neighbouring countries.

Qatar borders Saudi Arabia

where Middle East respiratory syndrome was first reported a decade ago.

Experts suggested that

  • Diseases might also be transported to other nations.
  • such as Britain and the United States
  • because of the huge number of fans who travelled to
  • Qatar to watch the tournament.

Some 5,000 England and Wales fans are believed

for the group stage to be traveling to the Arab State.

They constitute just a fraction of the 1.2 million fans expected to arrive in Qatar for the historic tournament.

Britain recorded only five cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome, most recently for a Middle East passenger in August 2018.

Human-to-human transmission is possible

according to health chiefs.

The virus is thought to have a natural host in camels.

and are from the virus family itself behind the COVID pandemic.

For this reason

health chiefs already recommend that

Visitors to the area are forbidden from touching any mammals.

Infectious disease scientists behind the latest warning said they should also avoid drinking milk, urine or eating camel meat that has not been cooked properly.

Anyone returning to Britain with telltale symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome, such as a cold or flu, is required to seek medical advice and share their travel history, so that infection and testing can be controlled.

Similar measures triggered a scare of Ebola in the UK last week

  • after a person in the UK who was in Uganda
  • emerged from cold-like symptoms.

There is no particular medication for this illness.

Doctors therefore attempt to reduce the patient's symptoms.

The other two researchers were Dr. Jaafar Al-Tafikh

consultant infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Aramco Medical Center in Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Philippe Gutrit of the University of Aix-Marseille in France.