Scientists have found an intriguing clue that suggests camels might somehow be involved in infecting people in the Middle East with the mysterious MERS virus.
Since the virus was first identified last September, there have been 94 illnesses, including 46 deaths, from MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome, mostly in Saudi Arabia. Aside from several clusters where the virus has likely spread between people, experts have largely been stumped as to how patients got infected.
In a preliminary study published on Friday, European scientists found traces of antibodies against the MERS virus in dromedary, or one-humped, camels, but not the virus itself. Finding antibodies means the camels were at one point infected with MERS or a similar virus before fighting off the infection.
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