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Disease Outbreaks

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Opinion Pieces, Editorial Address Spread Of Polio In Syria

The following is a summary of two opinion pieces and an editorial addressing a polio outbreak in Syria. Joel Brinkley, Kansas City Star: “With little health care to speak of, infectious diseases are devastating the nation — including a new outbreak of polio, not seen in Syria since the late…

PLOS Blog Highlights Articles Published In PLOS Medicine

The PLOS “Speaking of Medicine” blog highlights several new articles published this week in PLOS Medicine. One article examines “the most recent and comprehensive estimates on how much death and disability is attributable to depression, both worldwide and in individual countries and regions,” and another “evaluate[s] the cost-effectiveness and budget…

MERS Cases Announced In Saudi Arabia, Qatar; Scientists Debate Suspected Bat Vector

“A Saudi man has died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the kingdom’s death toll from the SARS-like virus to 42, health authorities said Wednesday, adding a new case was registered,” Agence France-Presse reports (8/28). And “[h]ealth authorities in Qatar announced the second confirmed case in a week of the MERS…

Cuba Reports 163 Cases In Cholera Outbreak

“Cuba has reported a cholera outbreak to international health monitors, with 163 new cases this year associated with three provinces,” the Associated Press reports. “According to a bulletin by the Pan American Health Organization, island authorities reported on Aug. 23 that the cases were linked to Havana, Santiago and Camaguey…

Dengue Epidemic Spreading In Central America, PAHO Reports

“A dengue epidemic is raging in Central America, from Honduras to Costa Rica,” The Guardian reports. According to the newspaper, “[t]he virus has already claimed 60 lives, with a total of 120,000 cases,” and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) “fears the figures may ‘explode,’ with this year looking ‘unusually…

WHO Update Reports 102 Recorded MERS Cases, 49 Deaths

“Eight more people in Saudi Arabia have contracted the MERS coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed infections worldwide in the past year to 102, of whom almost half have died, the [WHO] said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports. “The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which can cause coughing, fever and…

Researchers Continue Search For MERS Origin

The Economist reports on the search for the origin of the MERS virus, noting of 103 cases recorded by the CDC, 49 have been fatal — “a scary death rate.” The magazine details the search, which “was started by Ali Zaki of the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi…

WSJ Blog Examines Saudi Arabia’s Response To MERS In Lead Up To Hajj

“Saudi Arabia continues to report sporadic new cases and deaths from a lethal new coronavirus, as hajj season in October — when the kingdom expects more than three million pilgrims from 187 countries — approaches,” the Wall Street Journal’s “Middle East Real Time” blog reports. “As of Friday, the Saudi…

Researchers Discover MERS Virus In Bat In Saudi Arabia

“The virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been found in [one bat] in Saudi Arabia, suggesting a potential origin for the disease, according to a new study” published Wednesday in the CDC’s “Emerging Infectious Diseases” journal, Live Science reports (Rettner, 8/21). “An international research team said the…

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