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Kiss of death? Saudi camel fans don’t think so

Saudi camel-kissers are defying warnings to steer clear of the animals amid the deadly MERS crisis

Published: Updated:

After Saudi Arabia officially warned its citizens to steer clear of camels amid the spread of the deadly MERS virus, many are taking to social media to defy the warning - in the most peculiar of ways.

People are snapping photos and videos of themselves kissing camels, just days after the kingdom’s authorities warned of staying away from raw camel meat and camel milk, while also keeping any sick animals at bay.

camel
camel

The virus, which causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS, has been reported in more than 500 patients in Saudi Arabia alone and spread throughout the region in sporadic cases and into Europe, Asia and the United States.

Its death rate is around 30 percent of those infected.

In a video posted to YouTube and Twitter, one man says: "Look at me! Sneeze, sneeze! They say there's Corona in this," while kissing and hugging two camels.

camel
camel

He then shakes one of the camels' heads and says, "She says no. Is there Corona in you? She says no."

In another picture, a man is seen kissing a she-camel on the mouth to prove that the animals, could not be the source of infection.

On Twitter, one user tweeted to acting Saudi Health Minister Adel M Fakeih, saying: "@adelmfakeih #the_campaign_against_camels_exposed And we call for it to stop or for evidence to be produced because camels are fine and all the ill people are in cities."

Also, an info-graphic circulating on social media suggests camels are more valuable than petrol.