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Kuwait to install infra-red cameras to detect MERS
May 27, 2014, 12:01 pm

Kuwait has announced it will install infra-red cameras at two border check points to detect the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus amid an escalating number of cases.

Most of the approximately 200 people who have died from the virus have been in Saudi Arabia, where the virus was detected in 2012 and which borders Kuwait.

The number of cases – now well over 500 in Saudi Arabia alone, with a small number in other Gulf states, Asia, Europe and America – significantly rose in April and May, causing fears the virus would spawn into an international emergency similar to SARS that killed more than 800 people.

However, the World Health Organisation earlier this month said while concern over MERS had "significantly increased", the disease did not yet constitute a global public health emergency.

Saudi Arabian health authorities on Sunday said the number of cases was declining, with only four new infections and no deaths in recent days.

MERS is believed to be harboured in camels, a common domestic animal in the kingdom.

Scientists are developing a vaccine, while Saudi Arabia has established a dedicated research and treatment centre in Jeddah.

Kuwait, which has surprisingly avoided the disease so far, said its cameras would not be ready for a couple of months.

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