From The Conversation, July 2014
The features of MERS-CoV do not suggest an epidemic disease, but rather, a sporadic pattern. This could be an animal source or deliberate release. My paper shows there is slightly more weight to deliberate release than an animal source, although both are possible.
In the case of bioterrorism, if it is not considered at all, it can never be detected, unless it involves an eradicated pathogen such as smallpox. Public health does not have a good track record of correctly interpreting aberrant patterns.
The author is Dr. Raina MacIntyre, Professor, Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW Australia. She is affiliated with the National Centre for Immunisation Research and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Immunisation in understudied populations.
The paper she alludes to in the quote above can be found here:
The discrepant epidemiology of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Environment Systems and Decisions (2014)