Contact Us

MERS Virus Treatment at RML

drs falzarano and feldmann
Rocky Mountain Labs Doctors Darryl Falzarano and Heinz Feldmann. (KLYQ Photo)
At least 50 people have died from the MERS respiratory disease since it emerged in the Middle East in April 2012. But doctors at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton have developed a treatment, using two drugs – interferon-alpha 2b and ribavirin.

The virus causes flu-like symptoms at first and damages the victims’ lungs, often leading to death. Dr. Heinz Feldman led the research with Dr. Darryl Falzarano, combining the drugs on infected rhesus macaque monkeys. In a paper published in Nature Medicine, the doctors said the treatment stopped the MERS-CoV from replicating in cell culture.

Six macaques were infected with the virus and half were treated with the two drugs. At the end of the study period, that group showed no breathing difficulties and only minimal X-ray evidence of pneumonia.

Since the two drugs have already been approved for use such viral diseases as hepatitus C, individual physicians can prescribe the treatment if they think it will help.

The researchers do not know if the treatment will help severely infected MERS patients, because the rhesus only mimics mild to moderate MERS disease. And there are side effects to the two drugs. Further treatment studies are on-going.

The Rocky Mountain Laboratories are part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Best of KLYQ

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KLYQ Club VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KLYQ Club VIP contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.