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The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a zoonotic virus, which means it is a virus that is transmitted between animals and people. It was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Since, more than 2 400 cases of MERS-CoV have been detected in 27 countries, including Europe and Asia. The majority of MERS-CoV cases continue to be reported from the Middle East. Approximately 35% of reported patients have died.
Although most of human cases of MERS-CoV infections have been attributed to human-to-human infections in health care settings, current scientific evidence suggests that dromedary camels are a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of dromedaries in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.