A troup of Hamadryas Baboons (Papio hamdryas) outside
of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Hamadryads live for 30 to 35-years
Image from Northwest Wildlife Homepage.
Alsharq.net notes that baboons are such a problem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's southwest that electric fences are being erected to keep them out of certain areas.
Is anyone testing baboons for MERS-CoV? Or any other virus hunting going on in them for that matter?
I've posted on the movements and interactions of these furry troublemakers before, and they also feature in the VDU model of MERS acquisition.
If they are even infrequently in contact with humans, bats and camels - then perhaps we should give them the laboratory once-over.
Some serology and some next generation sequencing would be a good place to start.
Thanks to FluTracker's Tweet and post on this.