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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel coronavirus discovered in 2012 and is responsible for acute respiratory syndrome in humans. Though not confirmed yet, multiple surveillance and phylogenetic studies suggest a bat origin. The disease is heavily endemic in dromedary camel populations of East Africa and the Middle East. It is unclear as to when the virus was introduced to dromedary camels, but data from studies that investigated stored dromedary camel sera and geographical distribution of involved dromedary camel populations suggested that the virus was present in dromedary camels several decades ago. Though bats and alpacas can serve as potential reservoirs for MERS-CoV, dromedary camels seem to be the only animal host responsible for the spill over human infections.
Mohd, H. A., Al-Tawfiq, J. A., & Memish, Z. A. (2016, June 3). Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) origin and animal reservoir Susanna Lau. Virology Journal. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-016-0544-0