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COVID-19 SARS, and MERS, and Know the Comparisons

COVID-19 Since it was first discovered, it has continued to increase until now. The virus that causes COVID-19 also continues to mutate so that cases of COVID-19 continue to emerge. Several years ago, there were several communicable respiratory diseases that caused a sudden increase in cases in some countries before COVID-19, such as SARS and MERS.

The viruses that cause SARS and MERS are still in the same family as the viruses that cause COVID-19, namely the coronavirus. The following is a comparison between SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.

COVID-19 SARS, and MERS, and Know the Comparisons

Get to know the coronavirus

Medical News Today explains that coronaviruses are a large family of RNA viruses that have an envelope. This group of viruses mostly infects birds and mammals.

In humans, the coronavirus can cause mild infections of the upper respiratory tract, such as a cold. Apart from mild infections, this group of viruses can also cause more serious infections in the lower respiratory tract. Coronavirus is the cause of several diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19).

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a crown-like thorny surface when viewed with the help of a microscope. Adding Healthline’s explanation, the crown in Latin is Corona, so the virus group is called coronavirus.

Get to know SARS

Reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a respiratory infection caused by the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The disease was first identified in late February 2003 during an outbreak in China. According to Healthline, the origin of the virus is believed to have originated from bats and then infected other animals before finally moving to humans.

Quoting the CDC’s explanation, during the period November 2002 to July 2003, a total of 8,098 people were infected with SARS, while 774 of them died. By the end of July 2003, no new cases had been reported, so the WHO declared the global epidemic over.

There is no vaccine or treatment for SARS yet. The WHO fatality rate for SARS is around three percent, while the CDC says the fatality rate is around 10 percent.

Get to know MERS

Know the Comparison between SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 Lung illustration (
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS is a respiratory infection caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The disease was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

MERS-CoV can be transmitted from animals, namely infected camels and between humans. About 80 percent of reported MERS cases are from Saudi Arabia. Most of these cases result from direct or indirect contact with infected dromedary camels or contact with someone who is infected in a health care facility. Human-to-human transmission outside health facilities can also occur but is limited.

According to WHO, 35 percent of reported MERS cases died. Until now, there is no specific vaccine or treatment for MERS. Data from WHO stated that from April 2012 to November 2022, the number of MERS confirmed cases globally was 2,601 cases, while 935 of them died.

Getting to know COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new type of coronavirus, namely SARS-CoV-2. The virus was first recognized during an outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019 and has spread worldwide.

There are several COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved and can be used. Based on WHO data, as of 16 December 2022. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally was more than 647 million cases, of which more than 6.6 million had died.

COVID-19 fatality rates vary widely, depending on factors such as location and population characteristics. The fatality rate for COVID-19 is estimated to be between 0.25 and 3 percent. But this varies between countries, citing Healthline’s explanation.

COVID-19 is more easily transmitted

Medical News Today explained that the three viruses that belong to the new coronavirus cause respiratory disease, but each has different characteristics. For example, SARS and MERS have a higher fatality rate than COVID-19.

Even so, COVID-19 is much more easily transmitted than SARS and MERS, causing high cases of COVID-19. Easier human-to-human transmission means more people are infected and more cases of death also increase. Currently there are no cases of SARS, while MERS and COVID-19 are still a public health problem.

SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 are still in the same virus family, namely coronavirus. Even though the fatality rate for COVID-19 is not as high as that of SARS and MERS, COVID-19 is more easily transmitted so that the number of people infected and cases of death increases.

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