CNN news 2014-05-19

It's time for ten minutes of commercial free current events. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. My name is Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show, we are starting today between Europe and the Middle East in the nation of Turkey. It's a country in mourning. During a shift change at a West Turkish mine on Tuesday, a power transformer exploded. It sparked a fire deep inside the mine. Rescuers were able to save at least 88 miners, the Turkish officials say 274 others are dead. Some people were holding out hope that dozens of miners were trapped, but still alive. Those hopes were fading last night.

Rescuers say conditions inside the mine are horrible: hot, smoky, field with carbon monoxide after the fire. Families and friends of miners have been holding a vigil outside. What happened this week in the town of Soma, is likely to become the worst mining disaster in Turkey's history.

The MERS virus we've been telling you about has spread. The World Health Organization says this is not a global health emergency at this point.

But that the threat from MERS has become more serious. MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The first cases were in Saudi Arabia, and as you can see from this map, how the disease has spread, it's reached 18 countries. Worldwide, there have been 571 confirmed cases of MERS, 171 people have died from it. There have been two cases of MERS in the U.S. One in Indiana, one in Florida. Both of them were health care workers who traveled to Saudi Arabia. The silver lining here is that MERS doesn't spread very quickly or easily.

MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, has come to the United States. The virus was first confirmed in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has killed about a third of the hundreds it's infected. MERS doesn't appear to spread easily between humans like the flu does, for example.

Risk to the general public remains low, according to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention. It takes close contact with the sick person, usually a health care worker or a loved one to catch the virus.

MERS is in the same family of viruses as the common cold, but the reason why authorities are so concerned is that it has a 30 percent mortality rate. MERS attacks the respiratory system, and symptoms include fever and cough and can progress to pneumonia and kidney failure.

Experts don't know exactly where the virus came from, but it's been linked to infected camels in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. There's no vaccine or medicine to prevent or cure MERS.

To help protect yourself, the CDC advises you to wash your hands, don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands and avoid close contact with sick people.