Saudi-US Partnership to Find MERS Cure Making Progress

RIYADH: The joint efforts between the Ministry of Health and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) is making a good progress to find a vaccine for coronavirus.

“Finding a coronavirus cure is a challenge but there is noticeable progress in research to find a vaccine against the virus,” said John Watson, USCDC member who visited the Kingdom recently.

During his visit to the Kingdom, Watson met with officials at the Health Ministry to discuss future joint activities and projects to effectively prevent the spread of the virus.

A report quoted him as saying that the main goal of the USCDC and the Health Ministry “is to know more about MERS-CoV to be able to prevent its spread in an effective way.”

He said that a laboratory sampling of patients with the virus has been set up to learn more on how a person with the virus transfers it to someone else and when the patient is completely cured.

“We’re closely watching the virus itself to learn of any changes in the structure of its behavior. We are also interested in identifying specific risk factors for infection,” Watson said.

Watson added that it’s “important to understand as much as possible about ways of transmission and the nature of the virus prior to attempting any new vaccine in the future.”

He said that “it’s likely that MERS-CoV cases in the Kingdom will continue because of human exposure to camels although most of human cases infected are the result of transmission with health facilities.”

“However, there has been a marked improvement compared to last year as a result of the efforts of the Health Ministry through better understanding of the virus and transmission factors which help to improve prevention efforts,” he said.



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