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Giant Microbes Original 3 Pack COVID-19, SARS and MERS

Here we have the most infamous trio the world has ever known.

Available as a three pack 

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

Years before COVID-19 arose to plague our world, the first coronavirus epidemic to inflict serious illness upon people was SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome. This disease started in China and then spread to 32 countries, infecting over 8,000 people.

As with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the SARS virus is transmitted primarily through close person-to-person contact in droplets produced when a person coughs, sneezes or otherwise exhales viral particles. The symptoms of SARS are also similar to some of those for COVID-19, including high fever, body aches, shortness of breath and a dry cough. SARS is highly contagious and most dangerous to those with a compromised immune system. COVID-19 has spread in many types of locations, yet the vast majority of SARS cases were attributed to the lack of proper infectious disease control prevention in healthcare settings.

SARS was deadly but it did not become a global pandemic. Scientists were quick to identify this novel virus and health experts were efficient in isolating cases. Following the 2003 outbreak, there have been four known reappearances of SARS. Three were related to laboratories and the other was likely due to animal-to-human transmission. With SARS, humanity was also lucky. That coronavirus vanished and was nearly forgotten, that is until its cousin arose in a much bigger way to cause the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19

COVID-19 has arrived and quickly spread globally along with confusion, rumors and fear. Scientists investigate therapies and vaccines as nations “go medieval” by quarantining citizens. What should you do when a mysterious microbe comes knocking? Start by staying calm and learn the facts.

COVID-19 is respiratory, spreading mainly in coughs and sneezes. Compared to the flu, it may be more contagious and deadly. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. To prevent illness avoid contact with sick people, wash your hands and do not panic. And for all of humanity, let's fight this modern day plague with decency.

MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome)

MERS is a severe respiratory illness with symptoms that include fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are no specific antiviral treatments or vaccines available for MERS, so you might want to mask up the next time you hug a camel.

In 2012, the coronavirus that came to be known as MERS-CoV infected a person in Jordan and soon appeared in Saudi Arabia. This was a decade after the emergence of SARS, the first dangerous coronavirus to spread around the world. MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is an illness that arose independently of SARS. All three of the deadly coronaviruses are zoonotic in behavior. The MERS virus jumped from bats to dromedary camels and then to people. Unlike the viruses responsible for the SARS epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic, the MERS coronavirus is rarely transmitted from human to human. People mainly catch MERS directly from infected animals. Compared to its sisters SARS and COVID-19, MERS is less contagious but more deadly. About 30-40% of patients reported with MERS have died.

MERS is rare, yet it remains a serious respiratory disease. It has infected a few thousand people in about 30 countries, killing a few hundred. All cases of MERS so far have been linked to countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula. The largest outbreak outside of this region occurred in South Korea in 2015. This was associated with a traveler from Kuwait. There have been only two reported cases of MERS in the United States, both travelers from Saudi Arabia.