Via The National: Regulation of horse-racing industry, plight of farmers and camel concerns to dominate FNC session. Excerpt and then a comment:
ABU DHABI // Tougher regulation of the horse racing industry, the financial hardships facing farmers and an unknown condition affecting camels are issues set to dominate this week’s FNC session.
Mosabeh Al Kitbi, Sharjah, said the mysterious type of fever, believed to be unrelated to Mers, has been around for years.
However, he will raise his concerns with the Minister of Environment and Water, Rashid bin Fahad, that the situation in Al Dhaid, Sharjah, Dubai and Al Ain, is getting worse.
“It has existed for two years. There were individual cases, but in the past few months vets have announced increased cases of camels suffering fever,” said Mr Al Kitbi.
“The Ministry of Environment must take action. After taking some samples they have discovered that it has nothing to do with Mers. But what is it? And what is the cure for it?”
There is confusion as to the source of the disease, with some believing it spread from camels that participated in races in neighbouring Arabian Gulf countries, while others say it is from visiting racing camels.
“Camels are a very important animal resource – people rely on them for food, clothes, milk. So if they are suffering any disease, there should be cooperation between the municipalities,” said Mr Al Kitbi.
Some owners have been able to save their animals from dying after an early diagnosis and treatment, which can cost up to Dh10,000 each camel, he added.
Dr Mahmoud Mohammed, a vet in Al Dhaid area, said he had treated more than 50 camels in the past five months – out of which five per cent have died.
“The labs we have in the area are not advanced enough to carry out tests and diagnose the exact disease,” he said. “I told Mosbeh to tell the ministry to identify the disease and its treatment.”
The camels are suffering rapid breathing, cold, flu, coughing and fever.
Dr Mohammed said he treats each camel based on the symptoms, so an animal suffering severe coughing is given cough syrup, while one suffering the flu is given antibiotics.
“Even if they were suffering from Mers, the treatment would be pretty much similar. The ministry needs to carry out tests in advanced labs so we will have proof.”
Apart from the vagueness of the symptoms—"rapid breathing, cold, flu, coughing and fever"—I'm amazed that the vet would administer antibiotics for a viral infection, and would do so even if the infection was due to MERS-CoV.