study by Emerging Infectious Diseases found evidence that humans can acquire the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus (MERS) directly from camels, which had been suspected but unproven.
A man who tended to infected camels in Saudi Arabia also became infected and was shown to have a nearly identical form of the virus as the ill dromedarys he was in contact with. This suggests the man caught the virus from the camels.
The authors of the study conclude, "These data add to recent findings showing high similarity of MERS-CoVs carried by humans and camels, supporting the hypothesis that human MERS-CoV infection may be acquired directly from camels. In addition, both animals that showed signs of recent infection were juvenile, which provides further support to previous findings that mainly young animals are infected by MERS-CoV."
image: flickr/Pushkar 2011