Since the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012, there have been more than 2,400 confirmed cases of the infection, resulting in greater than 800 deaths – an alarming fatality rate of 35 percent. For this reason, researchers have been eager to identify any risk factors that contribute to the development of severe or lethal disease. Current clinical evidence points to diabetes as a major risk factor in addition to other comorbidities including kidney disease, heart disease, and lung disease.

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