Health Buzz: Link Found Between MERS Coronavirus and Camels

Is spontaneity the greatest danger to your weight? Plus, 7 high-protein breakfast ideas


Dromedary Camels From Oman Linked to Deadly MERS Coronavirus

New research suggests a link between camels and the deadly novel coronovirus that was first detected in April 2012 – now known as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Researchers analyzed blood serum samples of 149 animals, including cattle, sheep, dromedary camels and others, which were from Oman, Spain, Netherlands and Chile. The researchers found that the every one of the 50 Omani camels and 15 of the 105 Spanish camels studied had antibodies to the MERS coronavirus in their serum. No other animals studied had these antibodies. In the study, published today in The Lancet journal, researchers concluded that, "MERS-CoV or a related virus has infected camel populations."

While the World Health Organization recognizes that this link to camels is an important clue to figuring out where the virus came from and how it spreads, the WHO website states that more studies are necessary to determine if this virus in the camels is really identical to the one found in humans. And if it is the same virus, researchers still need to figure out how humans are being exposed to and infected by this virus. "Most human cases do not have a history of direct contact with camels; if camels or other animals are the source, the route of transmission to humans may be indirect," the website states.

Is Spontaneity the Greatest Danger to Your Weight?

The world is awash in calories, writes U.S. News blogger Yoni Freedhoff. Truly, we've engineered calories (and, more often than not, sugar, salt and fat) into every event of our lives, no matter how small or insignificant. They're used to pacify, entertain and reward children, and for us adults, they're used to fundraise, congratulate and network.

There's no escaping them – they really are everywhere and, as a consequence, it makes spontaneous eating, when the spirit (or stomach) moves us to do so, an exceedingly easy endeavor.

The striking increase in the availability and the literal and social placement of cheap calories coupled with spontaneity in eating may well be playing a role in our struggles with our scales. Where eating may once have been something conducted on a three-square-meals-at-home schedule of sorts, that's no longer true. [Read more: Is Spontaneity the Greatest Danger to Your Weight?]

7 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas

Protein tends to be misunderstood, writes U.S. News blogger Melinda Johnson. At times, it's flying high on a fad-diet craze, when it seems that half of our population is shunning carbs in favor of a high-protein diet. At other times, protein is forgotten completely, as people order salads with low-fat dressing in an effort to fit into their skinny jeans. While a high-protein, low-carb diet is overkill, there is good evidence that a moderate-protein diet may be the way to go.

One reason is that we need enough protein, in combination with exercise, to build muscle or even hold onto what muscle we have. We tend to lose muscle mass as we age, and this makes our metabolism go down. In fact, one of the biggest culprits of middle-aged weight creep is due to loss of muscle mass. Muscles also become critical for quality of life as we age – once an elderly person loses enough muscle mass, things like balance or the ability to get up out of a chair are compromised. In fact, studies have shown that many elderly people do not consume enough protein, and when this is combined with being bedridden or sedentary, their ability to be independent can decline very rapidly due to losing muscle mass. [Read more: 7 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas]

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