Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV): Announcement of the Coronavirus Study Group

During the summer of 2012, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a hitherto unknown coronavirus (CoV) was isolated from the sputum of a patient with acute pneumonia and renal failure. The isolate was provisionally called human coronavirus Erasmus Medical Center (EMC). Shortly thereafter, in September 2012, the same type of virus, named human coronavirus England, was recovered from a patient with severe respiratory illness who had been transferred from the Gulf region of the Middle East to London, United Kingdom (GenBank accession no. KC164505.2). The onset of the new disease was traced back to an even earlier time point. Already in April 2012, a cluster of pneumonia cases in health care workers had occurred in an intensive care unit of a hospital in Zarqa, Jordan.

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