World Cup fans warned to steer clear of camels in Qatar over killer bug fears

    FOOTIE fans banned from drinking, kissing, betting and vaping at the World Cup have now been told to steer clear of camels. 

    There are fears thousands flocking to Qatar could be struck down by a killer bug which is deadlier than Covid.

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    Camel flu, or MERS-CoV, is thought to have spread from bats to the desert dromedaries in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and can be transmitted to humans.Credit: Louis Wood

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    Harry Kane will be leading the Three Lions out in the World Cup in NovemberCredit: Getty

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    There are fears that thousands of fans flocking to Qatar could be struck down by the killer bugCredit: Louis Wood

    Camel flu, or MERS-CoV, is thought to have spread from bats to the desert dromedaries in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and can be transmitted to humans.

    Unlike Covid-19 there is no vaccine or treatment and fans following England and Wales have been warned to heed UK government advice.

    The Sun spotted a herd of camels near the England team’s Souq Al Wakra Hotel base outside Qatar’s capital Doha last week.

    And just weeks ago our man Oliver Harvey took a trip on one of the ships of the desert to show what fans could enjoy between games.

    Yesterday, tourist companies were still advertising camel rides and safari trips.

    Fans heading to the strict Muslim nation will have to abide by bans on provocative clothing, kissing, hugging or drinking in public, men speaking to women they do not know and rude gestures.

    Homosexuals face jail and luggage will be screened for drugs, booze and porn.

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    Prof Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia, said: “Fans should steer clear of camels in Qatar.

    “That’s the common sense advice to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

    “It’s a nasty bug, much deadlier than Covid-19 with a very high mortality rate, and there is currently no effective vaccine.”

    Government guidance says human-to-human spread has been limited inside hospitals and care homes but suggests camel contact is risky.

    World Health Organisation chiefs warned in August that about 80 per cent of cases were as a result of contact with infected camels or infected people in hospital.

    The bug, full name Middle East respiratory syndrome, has infected more than 2,000 people and killed at least 850 since it was first identified in Saudi in 2012.

    Experts fear it could soon spread from the Arabian peninsula to Africa through infected camels, which only exhibit mild symptoms.

    Two cases have been reported this year in Qatar, including a camel owner, 85, who later died in Doha.

    A farmer, 50, who drank camel milk has also died.

    Qatar officials declined to comment and the FA did not respond to requests.

    Meanwhile, Covid controls including tests and proof of vaccination have been lifted.

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    Thousands of England fans will travel to Qatar next month

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    The Sun has previously reported on the perils of drinking alcohol in the strict Muslim nationCredit: Louis Wood

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    The Sun’s chief feature writer Oliver Harvey has previously written about what fans will be able to expect if they travel to Qatar – where homosexuals are jailed and luggage will be screened for drugs, booze and pornCredit: Louis Wood

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