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US researchers may have found effective treatment for MERS-CoV

Researchers at the US' National Institutes of Health (NIH) have said a combination of two licensed antiviral drugs reduces virus replication and improves clinical outcome in a recently developed monkey model of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, Science Daily has reported. The study expands on work published in April showing that a combination of ribavirin and interferon-alpha 2b stops MERS-CoV from replicating in cell culture. Both antivirals are routinely used together to treat viral diseases such as hepatitis C. As of August 30, 2013, the World Health Organisation has reported 108 human cases of MERS-CoV infection, including 50 deaths.