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Media report: 3 soccer players infected with MERS in Qatar? - December 16, 2022 - "itinerary of a crazy rumor"

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  • Media report: 3 soccer players infected with MERS in Qatar? - December 16, 2022 - "itinerary of a crazy rumor"

    3 French soccer players infected …

    …Mustafa revealed that infection with the virus was observed among a number of fans of the teams at the current World Cup in Qatar, and the last of which was the infection of three players from the French national team only 48 hours before the final match scheduled for Sunday against the Argentine national team….

  • #2
    No official confirmations about this news


    • #3
      The report is incorrect about no evidence of human to human transmission until now. This disease can be transmitted human to human. One is example is the 2015 South Korean outbreak:

      South Korea - coronavirus

      A recent study about human transmission:

      Travel Med Infect Dis . The transmission dynamics of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus

      Also, please see:

      Qatar - FIFA World Cup 2022: cold snap? Fever? Covid? A mysterious illness affects the Blues French soccer team


      • #4
        Translation Google

        "Camel virus" at the World Cup in Qatar: itinerary of a crazy rumor

        Several media and personalities are alarmed by the risk of the spread of a virus, in reality MERS-CoV, of which no case has yet been identified in Qatar since last spring.

        By Nicholas Berrod December 18, 2022 at 12:20 p.m. , modified on December 18, 2022 at 1:03 p.m.

        “Fake news”, protests François Balloux. Like many scientists, the director of the Institute of Genetics in London is annoyed by the claim that a "camel virus is rampant in Qatar", to use the title of a video from the Israeli television channel i24News . No case of this virus, the MERS-CoV of its real name, has indeed been identified on the sidelines of the Football World Cup . So where does this haunting rumor come from for several days?

        It all starts with an alert launched in the United Kingdom and revealed by The Sun on Sunday December 11 . The British public health agency then asks doctors to be “particularly attentive to the possibility of MERS in travelers returning from the World Cup”, which is being held in Qatar until this Sunday.

        This MERS-CoV virus, for “Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus”, was first identified in Saudi Arabia in April 2012, reports the Institut Pasteur . Circulating quietly in camels and dromedaries, it can be transmitted to humans. About 2,600 cases have been identified in ten years in 27 countries. MERS-CoV is particularly dangerous, since around 30% of the patients identified have died from it, according to the World Health Organization .

        Three English supporters affected, really?

        Back to December 11. It is also on this day that searches for “camel virus” (“camel virus”) or “camel flu” (“camel flu”) become unusually frequent on Google .

        Two days later, a scientific article published in The Lancet also warns. The two major events organized simultaneously in Qatar at the end of the year, namely the Football World Cup and a camel competition, risk “causing major global epidemics” if people become infected with MERS-CoV -2 without realizing it. Football fans and participants in the competition are called upon to avoid any contact with camels during their stay on site, in particular.

        This same Tuesday, December 13, appears the report of I24News reporting "three English supporters returned with symptoms of deadly flu". Problem: we have not found any source reporting these three sick fans, supposedly due to an infection with MERS-CoV. It even seems that some media may have been misled by a user who misunderstood "The Three Lions", the nickname of the English team.
        In the days that followed, MERS became one of the most discussed topics on Twitter. To the point that some scientists, such as epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, have openly hypothesized that MERS-CoV is the cause of the mysterious “viral syndrome” which affected at least five players from the France team. Contacted, the director of the Geneva Institute of Global Health indicates that he has taken up a hypothesis read in the press, and regrets “the current omerta vis-à-vis the mysterious virus which would affect the France team”.

        “Fostering panic is irresponsible”

        In the end, the risk of spreading MERS-CoV is real and it has been anticipated by the health authorities. But no case has been identified to date since the start of the World Cup, and Public Health France even recalled that only two patients had been identified this year in the Arabian Peninsula – the last in April.

        "The passage of zoonotic pathogens into humans is a serious threat, which must be taken seriously", but "stirring up panic over epidemics that have not even occurred is irresponsible because it undermines the capacity of society to react appropriately if and when something serious actually happens,” said François Balloux. And as Forbes magazine puts it, "just because something spreads on Twitter doesn't mean it spreads in real life."

        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela