In previous issues, we said the pandemic was slowing down, and we were right. However, many once-common diseases have become virulent again. Plus, COVID is still prevalent.
In this article, we’ll discuss the Camel Flu, which caught everyone’s attention in Qatar’s World cup. Also, we look at what’s going on with respiratory illnesses in Germany right now.
‘Camel Flu’ Affecting World Cup Players
Last week news broke that several France team soccer players were affected by a mysterious, debilitating, flu-like virus. What was it all about?
What Is Camel Flu?
First discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012, Camel flu is the common name for the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). MERS is caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a zoonotic virus spread by camels.
These days MERS has caught the attention of countries receiving WorldCup fans, and there’s a reason for that. Since it was discovered, MERS has registered:
- 2,600 laboratory-confirmed human cases
- Nearly 1,000 fatal cases worldwide
Even though the situation appears moderately serious, the disease has only been a real problem in Saudi Arabia: 80% of human cases have been confined to the Arab country.
Here are some key facts on MERS you should know:
- MERS can be transmitted from person to person.
- MERS can also be transmitted airborne.
- Over the last decade, 30-35% of cases reported to the World Health Organization were fatal.
- There’s still no vaccine or specific treatment for infected people.
Symptoms of Camel flu
The most common symptoms of Camel Flu include
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Patients might also suffer gastrointestinal symptoms like
- Abdominal pain
Some severe cases have led to other complications such as pneumonia but that isn’t usually the case.
How to Prevent MERS
If you’re heading to a MERS hotspot on your next trip make sure you
- Wash your hands frequently
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cuff or sneeze
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands
- Keep surfaces clean and sanitized
- Don’t have contact with sick people
German Hospitals on the Brink: What Is Happening
A wave of acute respiratory illnesses is making healthcare in Germany a big concern, especially in hospitals and children’s clinics.
Healthcare in Germany Under Serious Threat
According to Gerald Gass, president of the German Hospital Association (DKG), all areas of German healthcare are currently at their limits. Furthermore, doctors have also exhausted their capacities while treating flu, RSV, and COVID at Children’s hospitals.
As a result of the high viral circulation in the country, hospitals are running out of beds. The number of infections due to acute respiratory infections has reached 9.5 million cases.
Moreover, every tenth hospital employee is currently ill, and there aren’t enough medicines for kids’ outpatient treatment.
It’s important to keep an eye on the news coming out of Germany. If you’re wondering what to do when traveling to Germany, we’ve given you a checklist on how to prevent Camel flu that fits perfectly with the prevention of acute respiratory illnesses.
As you can see, regardless of where you go, the precautions are the same that we’ve been practicing these last years thanks to COVID. However, if you’re traveling to Germany, you may want to take extra precautions, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Let’s keep the good health habits we learned during the pandemic in mind. Ultimately, that’s the only way to take care of ourselves and those we love.
Get tested to add an extra layer of protection. Find a COVID testing center near you with our international directory no matter where you are.