There is concern in the French national team three days before the World Cup final against Argentina. In Spain, they claim that striker Kingsley Coman has caught the virus that also affected defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Adrian Rabiot.
The coach, Didier Deschamps, revealed that Coman “had a fever in the morning” and assured that they are trying to take “all possible care so that the virus does not spread to the rest of the squad”.
The permanent exposure to air conditioning and the change of temperature in Qatar, added to the change of weather in the last few days, caused the spread of this flu variant, which presents symptoms such as fever, cough, diarrhea and vomiting.
What is the “camel virus”?
It is MERS-CoV , a disease that emerged in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, believed to have been transmitted by bats to camels in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula, including those in Qatari territory.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome ( MERS ), also known as the “camel flu virus”, has so far no vaccine or treatment, so fans attending soccer’s top event have already been warned to follow an important set of advice.
MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by one of the coronaviruses (MERS-CoV), but differs from Covid-19 in terms of the source of infection, Mode of Transmission and severity of illness. Since its identification, it has already infected more than 2,000 people and killed at least 850.
According to official reports, human-to-human transmission has so far been limited to hospitals and nursing homes. But the World Health Organization warned that contact with infected camels is risky and cases of this type are also relevant.
Therefore, the situation is alarming: Qatar expects to receive thousands of tourists and desert tours with camels are common and continue to be advertised despite warnings.
How to detect the symptoms of the “camel virus”
The average incubation period for “camel virus” is similar to that of Covid-19: approximately five days (although cases have also been reported where it occurred 2-14 days after exposure).
The main symptoms are fever and chills, cough and shortness of breath. Slightly less common are cases of coughing up blood, diarrhea and vomiting.
Measures to help prevent the spread of “camel pox virus”
The following measures are recommended to prevent illness:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. Help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw it away.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands.
Avoid close contact, such as kissing, sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils, with sick people.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
If you come into contact with animals, such as camels, wash your hands immediately afterwards. Some camels have been reported to carry the MERS virus.
How the syndrome spreads in the Middle East
The MERS virus comes from MERS-CoV The virus spreads from animals to humans. It has also been found in camels, and exposure to these animals is a risk factor for developing MERS.
The virus can spread between people who have close contact. This includes health care workers who care for people with MERS.
The incubation period of this virus is not precisely known. This is the period of time between when a person is exposed to the virus and when they develop symptoms. The average incubation period is about 5 days but there are cases where symptoms occur from 2 to 14 days after exposure.
Alert in Qatar for “camel virus”
Two cases of the deadly virus have been reported in Qatar this year : that of an 85-year-old camel owner who later died in Doha, and that of a 50-year-old farmer who drank camel milk.
Alarm bells are already ringing and it is feared that the thousands of people coming to Qatar could be affected by a virus more dangerous than Covid.