On February 13, 2013 the World Health Organization stated,
"The risk of sustained person-to-person transmission appears to be very low."
He continued,"Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) infects only 20% of respiratory cells in the body, so a large number of virions would be needed to cause infection."
On May 29, 2013 three months later, WHO started warning people MERS-CoV virus is a
"Threat to the World."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now has MERS on the transmissible from human-to-human list.
MERS has been associated with the Egyptian Tomb Bat, and Dromedary Camels especially their milk and meat. The virus attacks bronchial cells and can evade the immune system and stunt interferon growth in cells, leading to shortness of breath, pneumonia even death.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates eat tons of imported camel meat. Possibly, that meat has been infected by African and Australian Bats and transmitted it to the camels when bitten, before they were even imported.
In December of 2013, a study on Dromedary Camels revealed 90% of them were infected with MERS-CoV the virus that infects humans.
So far, 577 people have been infected, 173 have died. The fatality rate is 30%. For an updated (every 9 hours) report watch the Mers Corona Map.
MERS has shown up in two U.S. Health Workers in Florida that were working in Saudi Arabia. 15 other workers at the hospital were tested, one is a doctor who has been travelling extensively in Canada. He's complying with authorities understanding the problem from a doctors point of view.
Dr. Kevin Sherin a health officer for the Florida Dept. of Health on Orange County, says the risk of contacting MERS is low.
Today in the news. Saudi Arabia reports another five deaths.
more info: Is MERS a Public Emergency?