Ziad A. Memish, MD, Saudi Arabia's deputy minister for public health, discussed MERS-CoV during a webinar presented today by the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida. He covered much of the same ground as in an Aug 21 webinar from Washington, DC, but offered a few new details.
Memish is part of a team of scientists who have hunted for the source of MERS-CoV by testing bats and other animals in Saudi Arabia. Last week the group reported that a small fragment of DNA from a bat near the home of the country's first MERS-CoV victim was a perfect match for the human virus (see today's related story).
He said the team, which includes scientists from Columbia University and the Ecohealth Alliance, also looked for the virus in camels.
"We did not find the virus in any of the camels we tested," Memish said, but he did not disclose how many camels were tested or what tests were used. He indicated that the findings would be published soon.