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GENEVA: The fight against the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which has killed at least 722 people over the past five years, is honing in on its target: camels. MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, but has now been traced back in camels to at least 1983 .People have probably caught MERS in Africa but the absence of outbreaks recorded there may be due to poor disease surveillance, less contact with camels, or lower rates of underlying conditions like obesity and heart problems that make MERS more severe.Saudi Arabia has been heavily criticised for not being transparent about MERS, but Van Kerkhove said that had totally changed.
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