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Scientists find compound to fight virus behind Sars and Mers

Published on May 30, 2014 5:27 PM
 
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) coronavirus is seen in an undated transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in this file handout photo. An international team of scientists say they have identified a compound that can fight coronaviruses, responsible for the Sars and Mers outbreaks, which currently have no cure. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (AFP) - An international team of scientists say they have identified a compound that can fight coronaviruses, responsible for the Sars and Mers outbreaks, which currently have no cure.

Coronaviruses affected the upper and lower respiratory tracts in humans. They are the reason for up to a third of common colds.

A more severe strain of the virus, thought to have come from bats, triggered the global Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2002 that killed nearly 800 people.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) is a new strain discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and thought to have originated in camels. More deadly but less contageous, it has so far killed 193 people across 636 confirmed cases.

 
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