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Ministry isolates eight MERS-infected camels

The Ministry of Agriculture confirmed Tuesday that it has put eight camels in confinement. They are suspected of being infected by the coronavirus, following initial laboratory tests. Jaber Al-Shehri, spokesman for the ministry, said two medical teams, consisting of members from the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, were formed to test the eight camels whose owner is a Saudi citizen.
Al-Shehri said the camels were put in isolation until further tests are completed. The results will be announced in a few days.
The Ministry of Health announced on Monday that a 43-year-old Saudi from Jeddah was infected with coronavirus by a camel.
In an earlier statement, the ministry said that all those persons and livestock who were in direct contact with the man had been checked according to scientific standards.
The ministry also took samples from the surrounding environment of the infected, including the camels on his property, where initial tests showed positive results concerning the existence of the virus.
Earlier, a team of international researchers said that Arabian camels might be the bearer of the new coronavirus. The team found in the blood of these animals antibodies for the virus that looks like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the researchers who work under the supervision of Chantal Roeskin of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands.
Most lethal cases of the virus were in the Kingdom so far.

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