The next deadly epidemic…and it could be heading to Australia 98



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You may have been hearing about a deadly outbreak of disease overseas in the last week, but maybe not have realised what it was or how relevant it was to Australia. But what we’re now realising is that this is definitely something we need to be hypervigilant about – experts are saying this could be worse than Ebola.

So far, 19 people have died in South Korea from MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – and Australians may be more at risk than they were from Ebola.

According to authorities, we are prepared for any outbreaks but that is what we said when Ebola broke out earlier this year, and we had a number of cases in our hospitals.

In total, there have been 161 cases confirmed in South Korea, and one case has been confirmed in China.

Associate medicine professor at ANU, Sanjaya Senanayake, told Fairfax that MERS-CoV posed a similar threat to Ebola.

“We went to a lot of trouble planning for Ebola, which was very sensible, but potentially the risk of getting MERS in Australia is even higher,” he said.

Doctors are warning that a person with the virus could spread it to others within 1-2 metres of them through coughing.

A spokeswoman for the federal Health Department said Australia was well prepared for any MERS-CoV case.

She said that we have border surveillance in place that will hopefully prevent any potential outbreaks. There is a requirement for commanders of international flights to report any ill passengers on board prior to arrival and for them to be quarantined.

According to the Australian Government’s Health Department website, “MERS coronavirus is a disease caused by a new virus that can cause a rapid onset of severe respiratory disease in people. Most severe cases have occurred in people with underlying conditions that may make them more likely to get respiratory infections.

“All cases have lived in or travelled to the Middle East, or have had close contact with people who acquired the infection in the Middle East. There have been no cases in Australia”.

The Herald Sun has reported that 5000 Australian Muslims are heading to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, where the outbreak has so far killed 126, meaning a spread could occur on their arrival, or any person’s arrival from a country with an outbreak.


Tell us, are you worried about MERS? Do you think we should be alarmed or is this another Ebola?


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  1. you say the cases where in Korea then go on about muslim countries??

    2 REPLY
    • My understanding is MERS is present in the Middle East and is thought to be carried by Camels. The bug was carried to South Korea by an individual who had been working in the Middle East and it has spread in the population there.

    • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome hails from the Middle East. It was spread to Korea by a traveler from the Middle East.
      This article is poorly written with hardly any valid facts in it!

  2. This article is incorrect in a number of ways.
    Firstly, there were NO confirmed cases of Ebola in Australia. That is a lie of the biggest proportions.
    Secondly, the article states the outbreak is in Asia but then goes on to say that Muslims will be travelling there to spread it further.
    This article is racist in its purest form and has been written for the sole purpose of causing more racism and hatred towards another race of people.
    I would be more concerned about the superbug in Melbourne hospitals which has killed 17 people and is believed to be caused by unhygienic practices at the hospital by our good old Aussie workers.
    This article is so misleading.
    I wish you would consider removing it.

    9 REPLY
    • Thank you Ruth, well said – this article is so biased and so misinterpreted and misunderstood and targeting Muslims in purist form WHY?

    • because it seems to be the trendy thing of the far right at the moment Chin, it is wrong they tar all people of one religion. with the same brush It is like saying All Australians are like Tony Abbott..over my dead body 🙂

    • Agree….seems to be full of contradictions. I would guess Originally written for America,,,only the name has been changed to protect the Journalist.

    • Libbi Elliott, this has nothing to do with any political party so why bring that up? All that serves is to muddy the waters. It’s good to have an opinion but please stay on the subject.

    • Political commentators are saying that Barbara Keir and I don’t any ALP that have been out there marching reclaim Australia rallies.. not a single you vote Liberal?

    • I can promise you Barbara Keir those neo Nazi’s marching in the rallies are not from the left..Cory Bernadi has been very instrumental in fanning the flames. And what do you hope to achieve? it is all rubbish, that is sensible Australians stayed home. They are here now and Australian Citizens, there is nothing you can do about it, so why keep rattling on ? And don’t tell others to stay quiet when your own gums are flapping

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