How to protect yourself from MERS

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Steps are being taken to keep people informed about a potential deadly virus, but there is no vaccine or medicine to prevent it or cure it.

Two people in the United States have been diagnosed with the MERS virus. MERS is in the same family of the common cold.

Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted travel warning in about two dozen United States airports, and some people making summer plans may have questions about how safe it is to fly.

WIAT 42 News spoke with Birmingham airport officials and they say about 112 flights come in and out of Birmingham each day, and they go to about 38 airports.

Thirty-five percent of the flights are to hubs like Atlanta.

However, the MERS warnings in those hub airports are directed at people who are traveling to the Arabian peninsula.

The National Institutes of Health and the CDC are working on a vaccine for MERS and also looking for drugs that might be beneficial for fighting those already infected with the virus.

The CDC says your first line of defense is to wash your hands. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and try to avoid close contact with sick people.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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