Earlier this month, the CDC officially announced the first confirmed case of MERS coronavirus in the United States. Interestingly, the virus was identified in a man who flew from Saudi Arabia to Chicago, and then traveled to Indiana – where he reported symptoms such as fever and cough at a Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana – not very far from where I stay. I have taken one of these buses to get to the airport in Chicago many times before. After having written about the transmission of the virus a few months back, and after having diligently kept track of its spread across the globe, I was amused when it ended up a few miles away from me (of all places!).
Another coincidence is that I was asked about the scientific accuracy of the transmission of MERS-CoV along the lines of the movie Contagion – in which a single infection of Nipah virus leads to a pandemic within weeks. Interestingly, Nathan Wolfe (about whom I wrote previously) was the ‘virus advisor’/consultant for the movie!
These are some really unusual coincidences that interconnected with my flow of thoughts and makes things very interesting while following up with the news from the world of popular science.