Via the South China Morning Post, a report by The Associated Press: Experts warn Mers virus may be mutating after sudden spurt in Saudi, UAE. Excerpt:
A recent spate of infections from a frequently deadly Middle East virus is raising new worries about efforts to contain the illness, with infectious disease experts urging greater vigilance in combatting its spread.
More than 20 people, many of them health care workers, have been reported infected with the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) coronavirus in two distinct clusters - one in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - likely involving human-to-human transmission since early last week.
The disease, originally identified in 2012 in the Middle East, has also for the first time spread to Southeast Asia, a decade after the outbreak of the related Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) virus.
"The last two weeks have put us into uncharted territory," said Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota.
He described the recent batches of Saudi and UAE infections as "very important" and a possible signal that the virus could be mutating.
The disease's spread to Southeast Asia - confined for now to people with clear links to the Middle East - meanwhile "heightens the concern that we could be in the early days of another Sars-like event", he warned.
"We're clearly at a very significant 'stay tuned' moment," Osterholm said.