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Northeastern Kenya 17

Part of a large camel herd in northern Kenya; on the outskirts of Marsabit and Moyale, the average distances to watering points run into dozens of kilometres (photo credit: Ann Weru/IRIN).

Written by Dan Klotz

Two new papers on MERS coronavirus and camels in Eastern Africa have been published in the science journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Summary points

  • Studies find that camels in Egypt, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan have antibodies to the coronavirus that causes MERS.
  • The first study indicates that young camels are at greater risk of harbouring the virus than older camels.
  • We do not know if the infections in East African camels have led to, or could lead to, disease in people; this possibility should be investigated.
  • We do not know if or how much the East African camel virus is related to the one infecting camels and people in the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt; this possibility…

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