People who handle live camels are at an increased risk for infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, according to a study findings from the United Arab Emirates.

“MERS-CoV is a zoonotic virus, and dromedaries (camels) are recognized as a major virus reservoir for spillover to humans. Multiple studies have isolated MERS-CoV or MERSCoV RNA from camels across the Arabian Peninsula and Africa,” CDC epidemiologist Marie Killerby, VetMB, MPH, and colleagues wrote in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Photo credit:  Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose from Montreal, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons