usCrow contributors tend to focus on communism, war, and tyranny. However, we clearly outline several other threats the survival and prepper community should be prepared for. Viral Pandemic is listed in our Top 5 Reasons to be a Prepper, and with viruses like MERS it’s not hard to see why. Now, I rarely like citing the WHO (World Health Organization) findings, but in this case it’s acceptable. According to the WHO, MERS is a threat to the entire world…
“These are alarm bells and we must respond. The novel coronavirus is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself. The novel coronavirus is a threat to the entire world…” – Dr. Margaret Chan WHO (World Health Organization)
MERS Virus Explained
MERS-CoV stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. MERS is a Group IV viral strain. MERS Group IV classification is defined by positive-sense single stranded RNA genomes. This puts the MERS viral strain in the same viral group as; Hepatitis A/C, SARS, & Rubella. In its current state it does not belong to the real bad boys in the room, Group V; Ebola, Influenza, Measles, Mumps and etc. Why is MERS a threat? MERS-CoV has a knack for getting by innate immune responses, thus effecting interferon production in cells in addition to it’s symptoms…
As a Group IV viral strain, MERS has been reported having similarities to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). This means such symptoms include severe acute pneumonia and renal failure, likely ending in fatality. In addition other symptoms of MERS include; fever, coughing, expectoration (spitting up), and shortness of breath. Like all infections, MERS coronavirus invades the host’s cells and takes them over. MERS then forces your cells to process virus particles.
MERS Global Threat
The first reported case of MERS was in September 2012 (seriously is September a cursed month?) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In February 2013, WHO reported 13 additional cases; 6 cases from Saudi Arabia (4 were fatal), 2 fatal cases in Jordan, 2 in Qatar, and 3 in the United Kingdom. In May 2013, MERS has been confirmed in France and 3 additionally fatal cases have been confirmed in Saudi Arabia. So all in all, there have been 30+/- known cases of MERS that resulted in death. The unofficial global count is 49.
The United States has bases in Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, and etc with troops returning home, but don’t freak out! MERS has an incubation period of approximately 9-12 days, in theory symptoms would be identified before the plane even landed and standard quarantine procedures would begin. In addition, MERS has a very low human-to-human transmission rate in its current state. I’d be more worried about the eccentric philanderer dabbling in Dubai before I worried about our GIs.
I rarely give credit to government organizations but when it comes to population killing viruses, our health organizations are pretty ‘on the ball’ about it, relatively speaking. Self-preservation is a great motivator. Reliance upon WHO/ CDC’s ability to address MERS and other viral outbreaks should be limited at best. Genetic mutations happen every day, just like SARS, if MERS mutates into an airborne virus with a high human-to-human transmission rate… we’re screwed. So what can we do in the meantime? Prepare for a Viral Pandemic