Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Contributed by Charles Sharp, BEMA (Black Emergency Managers Association)

On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. CDC is monitoring this respiratory illness closely.

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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness.

They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. More than 30% of these people died.

Image of map showing countries in Arabian Penninsula with and without confirmed MERs as detailed on this page.

Image of map showing countries in Arabian Penninsula with and without confirmed MERs as detailed on this page.So far, all the cases have been linked to countries in the Arabian Peninsula. This virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. However, there is no evidence of sustained spreading in community settings.
On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. The traveler is considered to be fully recovered and has been released from the hospital. Public health officials have contacted healthcare workers, family members, and travelers who had close contact with the patient. At this time, none of these contacts has had evidence of being infected with MERS-CoV.

On May 11, 2014, a second U.S. imported case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler who also came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. This patient is currently hospitalized and doing well. People who had close contact with this patient are being contacted. The two U.S. cases are not linked.

CDC and other public health partners continue to investigate and respond to the changing situation to prevent the spread of MERS-CoV in the U.S. These two cases of MERS imported to the U.S. represent a very low risk to the general public in this country.

CDC continues to closely monitor the MERS situation globally and work with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. CDC recognizes the potential for MERS-CoV to spread further and cause more cases globally and in the U.S. We have provided information for travelers and are working with health departments, hospitals, and other partners to prepare for this.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q: What is MERS?

A: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness. MERS is caused by a coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV).

Q: What is MERS-CoV?

A: MERS-CoV is a beta coronavirus. It was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. MERS-CoV used to be called “novel coronavirus,” or “nCoV”. It is different from other coronaviruses that have been found in people before.

Q: How was the name selected?

A: The Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) decided in May 2013 to call the novel coronavirus “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV) [5 pages].
Countries With Lab-Confirmed MERS Cases

Countries in the Arabian Peninsula with Cases

  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Yemen

Countries with Travel-associated Cases

  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • France
  • Tunisia
  • Italy
  • Malaysia
  • United States of America (USA)

en español
For information about cases and deaths by country, visit World Health Organization (WHO)

Q: Is MERS-CoV the same as the SARS virus?

A: No. MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. CDC is still learning about MERS.

Q: What are the symptoms of MERS?

A: Most people who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 30% of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness.

Q: Does MERS-CoV spread from person to person?

A: MERS-CoV has been shown to spread between people who are in close contact.[1] Transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel has also been observed. Clusters of cases in several countries are being investigated.

Q: What is the source of MERS-CoV?

A: We don’t know for certain where the virus came from. However, it likely came from an animal source. In addition to humans, MERS-CoV has been found in camels in Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and a bat in Saudi Arabia. Camels in a few other countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS-CoV, indicating they were previously infected with MERS-CoV or a closely related virus. However, we don’t know whether camels are the source of the virus. More information is needed to identify the possible role that camels, bats, and other animals may play in the transmission of MERS-CoV.

Q: Is CDC concerned?

A: Yes, CDC is concerned about MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 30% of these people died. Also, in other countries, the virus has spread from person to person through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. CDC recognizes the potential for the virus to spread further and cause more cases globally, including in the United States.

Q: Has anyone in the United States gotten infected?

A: Yes, on May 2, 2014, the first confirmed case of MERS-CoV was reported in a traveler to the United States. This is the only confirmed case in the United States. Read more.

Q: What is CDC doing about the first case of MERS in the United States?

A: CDC works 24/7 to protect people’s health. It is the job of CDC to be concerned and move quickly whenever there is a potential public health problem. CDC is working very quickly to investigate this first U.S. case of MERS and ensure that Americans are safe. We expect to learn much more in the coming hours and days. We will share updated information through this website.
CDC is also closely monitoring the MERS situation globally. We are working with WHO and other partners to better understand the virus, how it spreads, the source, and risks to the public’s health. CDC is engaged in the following ways:
CDC developed molecular diagnostics that will allow scientists to accurately identify MERS cases. CDC also developed assays to detect MERS-CoV antibodies. These lab tests will help scientists tell whether a person is, or has been, infected with MERS-CoV. CDC will evaluate genetic sequences as they are available, which will help scientists further describe the characteristics of MERS-CoV.
As part of routine public health preparedness in the United States, CDC has provided MERS-CoV testing kits to state health departments so they can test for patients under investigation for MERS-CoV infection. CDC also developed Interim Guidance for Health Professionals. This includes case definitions, and guidance for evaluating patients, reporting cases to CDC, infection control in healthcare settings, preparedness, caring for MERS patients at home, and handling clinical specimens.
CDC is offering recommendations to travelers when needed. CDC is also helping to assess ill travelers returning from affected areas.
In addition, CDC has participated in several international public health investigations of MERS. CDC continues to provide advice and laboratory diagnostic support to countries in the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region.

Q: Am I at risk for MERS-CoV Infection in the United States?

A: You are not considered to be at risk for MERS-CoV infection if you have not had close contact, such as caring for or living with someone who is being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection.

Q: Can I still travel to countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries where MERS cases have occurred?

A: Yes. CDC does not recommend that anyone change their travel plans because of MERS. The current CDC travel notice is an Alert (Level 2), which provides special precautions for travelers. Because spread of MERS has occurred in healthcare settings, the alert advises travelers going to countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula to provide health care services to practice CDC’s recommendations for infection control of confirmed or suspected cases and to monitor their health closely. Travelers who are going to the area for other reasons are advised to follow standard precautions, such as hand washing and avoiding contact with people who are ill.

For more information, see CDC’s travel notice on MERS in the Arabian Peninsula.
Q: What if I recently traveled to countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries and got sick?

A: If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries[2], you should see your healthcare provider and mention your recent travel.

Q: How can I help protect myself?

A: CDC advises that people follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact, such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils, with sick people.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.

Q: Is there a vaccine?

A: No, but CDC is discussing with partners the possibility of developing one.
Q: What are the treatments?

A: There are no specific treatments recommended for illnesses caused by MERS-CoV. Medical care is supportive and to help relieve symptoms.

Q: Is there a lab test?

A: Lab tests (polymerase chain reaction or PCR) for MERS-CoV are available at state health departments, CDC, and some international labs. Otherwise, MERS-CoV tests are not routinely available. There are a limited number of commercial tests available, but these are not FDA-approved.

Q: What should healthcare providers and health departments do?

A: For recommendations and guidance on the case definitions; infection control, including personal protective equipment guidance; home care and isolation; case investigation; and specimen collection and shipment, see Interim Guidance for Health Professionals.


Close contact is defined as a) any person who provided care for the patient, including a healthcare worker or family member, or had similarly close physical contact; or b) any person who stayed at the same place (e.g. lived with, visited) as the patient while the patient was ill.
Countries in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring countries: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen.


Black Emergency Managers Association
1231 Good Hope Road S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20020
Office: 202-618-9097

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FCC approves plan to consider paid priority on Internet

There is a grass root movement for the Internet to be classified as  a public utility like drinking water so everyone will continue to have equal access.   We are tracking this story and will bring more information to you as it unfolds.

Lets stay alert and be sure that the digital divide does not get bigger and disconnect under-served communities more than they already are by making unrestricted access to the Internet a privilege for the wealthy 1% of the nation.

Public hearings will be held by the FCC over the next four months.  Organizations like MoveOn.org will be doing the following:

    • Drive phone calls to the White House so that President Obama has to hold FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler accountable for his promise to protect Net Neutrality—building on the thousands of calls members have already made
    • Launch a new round of ads to raise awareness of what’s at stake and continue to pressure President Obama and Chairman Wheeler
    • Deliver thousands of public comments to the FCC in support of the real solution—treating the Internet as a public utility
  • Continue to amplify the more than 10,000 personal stories from MoveOn members who would be hurt if the FCC adopts this plan

CLICK HERE to see articles with more detailed information.


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Behind the Blood Moons

Just in case you missed the “Blood Moon” / lunar eclipse on Monday night or just want to see it again, here are some interesting notes:

First, you can view it here:  http://www.11alive.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/14/viewers-guide-lunar-eclipse/7718993/

We also found this review at the WND Superstore very interesting. The book,  FOUR BLOOD MOONS: SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE by Pastor John Hagee, is on sale now.  CLICK HERE FOR THEIR FULL POSTING

(From superstore.wnd.com)
In an astonishing new non-fiction book, “Four Blood Moons,” Hagee draws on scripture, NASA science and recorded history to explore the significance of astronomical events and to caution believers of a momentous, upcoming series of lunar events that may directly impact not only the nation of Israel but possibly all of mankind.

“Four Blood Moons” derives its title from full lunar eclipses called “blood moons” because only the infrared band of light gets around the Earth, making the moon appear red. In some centuries there is a very rare series of four consecutive blood moons, called a “tetrad” by astronomers.

According to Hagee, tetrads have occurred on the Hebrew holy days of Passover and Sukkot only three times in the last 500 years. These same three dates in Israel’s history just happen to be the most important dates for the nation, writes Hagee. “Four Blood Moons” discusses these three incredible historical events in detail:

  • In 1493, the four blood moons occurred on the Hebrew holidays of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. This signified the beginning of the fall of Spain following the expulsion of the Jews a year earlier and was God’s announcement to the world that “the mantle of prosperity had thusly been placed on the shoulders of the infant nation that would become the United States” since it became a refuge for the Jewish people.
  • The second appearance of four blood moons appearing on Hebrew holy days was 1949-1950. They occurred on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles and coincided with Israel being declared a nation.
  • The third occurrence was in 1967-1968, when the Six-Day War took place, uniting the city of Jerusalem for the first time in 2,000 years – a monumental prophetic event, writes Hagee.

What’s more, the next four blood moon tetrad, falling on the same Hebrew holy days, is set to occur starting April 2014 – only the fourth time in the last 500 years. The dates are:

  • April 15, 2014 – Passover
  • October 8, 2014 – Feast of Tabernacles
  • April 4, 2015 – Passover
  • September 28, 2015 – Feast of Tabernacles

After the first two blood moons in this sequence, and before the final two blood moons, will be a solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 – Rosh Hashanah.

What is the prophetic significance of these events?

“Over the last 500 years, these lunar events all falling on holy days were an announcement of a time of tears and tribulation that ended in tremendous national triump for the Jewish people,” says Hagee. “There are no solar of lunar accidents; every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God to send signals to humanity of coming events.”

In “Four Blood Moons,” Hagee cautions that while no one knows the mind of God, the anticipation of these events does tell us that God is getting ready to change the course of human history.

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8.2 Earthquake Event in Chile

An 8.2 Earthquake Event Northwest of Iquique, Chile occurred today effecting the Southwestern Pacific coastline.  Tsunami warnings and evacuations have been issued that includes the Hawaiian Islands.  These warnings DO NOT include Southern California or the Pacific Northwest.

For more information visit the USGS


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A M5.1 earthquake occurred at 9:09PM, March 28th, 2014 located 1 mile easy of La Habra, CA, or 4 miles north of Fullerton, CA. The event was felt widely throughout Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.  It was preceded by two foreshocks, the larger of M3.6 at 8:03pm.  


  • For more information on this event visit the USGS and the SHAKEMAP pages for details.
  • Earthquake preparedness information and resources are provided on the TRN DAPP #911 Portal.  http://dapp.trn.tv.
  • Download helpful emergency apps from the American Red Cross HERE (Android) including the Earthquake App on ANDROID and IPHONE.


  • Be ready for an earthquake with Earthquake by American Red Cross. Get notified when an earthquake occurs, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do.FEATURES:
    •Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even before/during/after an earthquake, even if no data connectivity.
    •Get notified when an earthquake occurs; see the intensity impact to your area or those of loved-ones with notifications generated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
    •Let family and friends know you are okay with the customizable “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text.
    •Find open Red Cross shelters in your area when you need help.
    •Stay safe when the lights are out with the Toolkit, including a strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions.
    •Prepare for the worst by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation.
    •Empower your family to stay safe and remain calm in an emergency by learning how to make and practice an emergency plan.
    •Earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your hurricane knowledge with interactive quizzes.
    •See an illustrated history of earthquakes in your area.
    •Know how to what to do about food and drinking water when your area has been impacted by floods and power outages.
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Great Is The LORD’s Faithfulness

from E-Courage Ministries




Lamentations 3:21-23 

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness”

If we got caught up in the headlines like many, we might be discouraged right now.   Many things that people had faith in, is failing them.  If our faith was based  on those things, we would be pulling our hair out!  But thank GOD for His faithfulness toward us.  He is the ultimate promise keeper,  the ever faithful one, who supplies our needs in the middle of tight times. Great is His faithfulness, whose provisions won’t run out, He’ll never be bought out, nor will His stocks crash.  It’s times like these when others will ask “Why aren’t you worried?”  “What gives you so much peace?”  It’s an opportunity for us  to declare His faithfulness.

Psalm 37:3  “Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed”

Psalm 9:9-11 (Amplified Bible)
“The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation).     And they who know Your name [who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy] will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You [on the authority of God’s Word and the right of their necessity]. Sing praises to the Lord, Who dwells in Zion! Declare among the peoples His doings! ”  

Written by Winetta Turner(C)2014

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4.4 EARTHQUAKE EVENT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA,  6:25AM, Monday, March 17th, 2014.  The epicenter was in the Santa Monica mountains between Westwood and Encino California.  It was felt throughout Los Angeles County and according to Lucy Jones, US Geological Survey, it was the largest earthquake event for this area since Northridge, CA,  in 1994.

For more information on this event see the USGS and the SHAKEMAP for more details.


Get earthquake preparedness information and resources on the TRN DAPP #911 Portal.  http://dapp.trn.tv.

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A New Thing

from E-Courage Ministries








A New Thing………..

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland”(Isaiah 43:18-20 NIV)

Don’t expect the Lord to keep doing the same old thing!  If we keep doing the same thing we’ll get the same results.  If we get into a routine relationship with the Lord, we may miss the new thing He’s trying to do in our lives. Have you ever just gone through the motions, just doing something out of habit?  It’s like someone who eats at the same place, having the same meal every weekend, they’re tired of the same food, but are to timid to try something new.   Some thing’s are going to take more faith then we’ve ever had in our lives, require more obedience, boldness,love and most of all trust.   “As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him” (Psalm 18:30) When the Lord told Peter to step out onto the water, Peter had no clue how to do it, all he had was the Lord’s word “Come” to stand on.  If we trust the Word of the Lord and keep our eyes on Him, we’ll be ready for our whatever comes our way. A new business idea may not have a previous model to go by, if God gave the idea, He’ll see it through.  New things may cause us to break some old molds! Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” We won’t get extraordinary results from doing the same old thing!

Written by Winetta Turner(C)2014

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Los Angeles: LA Marathon Road Closures, 3/9/14

From the Los Angeles EMD

The 29th Annual Los Angeles Marathon will be held on Sunday, March 9, 2014.  An estimated 25,000 runners will participate in the 26.2 miles race from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica.

The City of Los Angeles has finalized street closures, restricted parking, as well as security and public safety measures to support the Los Angeles Marathon.

During the marathon ReadyLA will post updates and information on Facebook.com/readyla and Twitter.com/readyla and use hashtag #LAmarathon.

Various streets along the marathon route will be closed by 3:15 a.m. on March 9, then reopen as early as 10:15 a.m., depending on the location. Below is a link of street closures within the City of Los Angeles only:


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Can’t Stay The Same

from E-Courage Ministries

  Romans 12:2(Amp)

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be
(changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. How can we enter into the presence of a Holy God and remain the same?  Hang around Him all the the time but still walk in our ways? That’s a hard fight! A stubborn will, prevents us from truly becoming a new creation. Holding onto things that hinder our growth in Christ can cause us to be stuck! If you’ve ever seen the movie “Transformers” in order for them to be useful to those they served, they had to change all of the way, or they had noreal power. If the enemy can get us to be comfortable in our ways, we’d end up like a half bloomed flower, never realizing our full potential or beauty in God’s garden.
Ephesians 2:10(Amp)

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. In order for us to be effective for the Lord, we can’t stay the same!

Written by Winetta Turner(C)2014

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Ascending Consciousness

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