Have Swedes found a cure for Mers?
After five years of testing, scientists in Gothenburg have found a substance that can stop the dreaded Mers virus. The Mers virus has spread from the Middle East and so far more than every fourth infected person has died. But the Swedish scientists at Sahlgrenska, together with scientists in Switzerland, have found that the K22 substance inhibits the virus without killing the cells. The result has been presented in the medical journal PLOS Pathogens.

”What’s especially nice is that we have found the achilles heel of the virus; all viruses have one but it is rarely the same mechanism,” says Tomas Bergström, a scientist at Sahlgrenska, to TT. Mers is a corona virus, like Sars, which led to close to 800 deaths in Asia in 2003. Hopefully, the research from Sahlgrenska will lead to a medicine that helps against all respitory infections corona viruses cause in Sweden each year. The risk for an otherwise healthy person to get Mers is small, but not non-existent. ”We cannot exclude the possibility that you could become seriously ill, even if you have no underlying disease,” says deputy state epidemiologist at the Folkhälsomyndigheten (the Public Health Agency of Sweden), Anders Wallensten. ”As long as it doesn’t get more contagious, the risk zone for getting it is the Arabian Peninsula, and it has mostly struck sick people in hospitals there,” he adds. WHO has not issued any travel restrictions for the most severly affected countries.