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Possible MERS link with shisha smoking

| May 23, 2014

The shisha café culture may exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries, according to an Arab News story quoting a senior physiology professor at King Saud University (KSU).

Sultan Ayoub Meo, professor and consultant at KSU’s King Khalid University Hospital, said shisha smokers, along with their friends and relatives, ran a high risk of transmission of this deadly respiratory disease.

Meo, who is currently supervising a research project on the hazards of shisha smoking, said shisha smoking sometimes involved sharing, over a lengthy period, a water pipe that might contain infected saliva.

“The greater the exposure in terms of duration and amount smoked, the greater the risk of getting MERS,” he said.

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV.

Category: Breaking News

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