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Saudi Arabia Must Remain Vigilent, Transparent On MERS

Citing two conflicting studies on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) — one showing “a slowly growing epidemic” and the other not — a Washington Post editorial states, “The behavior of this virus is a matter of concern to the world. Much is unknown, and much will depend on Saudi…

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar Report MERS Cases, Deaths

The WHO on Monday “confirmed the first two Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases in Kuwait, while a media report said Spain now has its second probable case in a woman who participated in the recent hajj in Saudi Arabia,” CIDRAP News reports (Roos, 11/18). In addition, “Saudi health…

WHO Syria Representative Discusses Polio Response In Xinhua Interview

Xinhua interviews Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO representative in Syria, about efforts to stop the spread of polio in the country, noting, “Recent cases of polio infections among Syrian children have prompted the [WHO] and the Syrian Ministry of Health to join forces to fight the outbreak of the viral disease.”…

As Long As Polio Exists Anywhere, World Is At Risk

“[A]s long as polioviruses circulate anywhere in the world, they can be exported to countries that are now poliomyelitis-free and can cause serious outbreaks,” Trevor Mundel, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program, and Walter Orenstein, a professor and associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center,…

Middle East Nations Sign Joint Resolution Declaring Polio Eradication An Emergency Priority

“Some 21 nations in the Middle East and nearby regions have jointly made the eradication of polio an emergency priority and recognized that Pakistan is a key part of the problem, the [WHO] said Wednesday,” the Associated Press reports (11/13). “Pakistan approved the resolution, which the WHO says includes Afghanistan, Bahrain,…

Middle East’s Snow, Cold Weather Exacerbate Humanitarian Situation For Displaced Syrians

“Already suffering from shortages of food aid, schooling, clean water, sanitation and employment, Syrians displaced inside the country and throughout the region — about nine million people — now must contend with bitter weather that, according to UNICEF, threatens more than 100,000 children living in temporary and often flimsy shelters…

Polio Resurgence In Syria Could Reinvigorate Global Campaign Against Disease

“As of November 26, WHO has confirmed a polio outbreak with a total of 17 cases caused by wild poliovirus type one in Syria, which had been polio-free since 1999,” a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial states. “At present, polio is endemic in three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan,” the…

NPR Examines Efforts To Eradicate Polio In 2013

“The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number, on the road to complete eradication of the virus,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports, adding, “But this was a year when polio pushed back. Hard.” The blog examines…

U.N. Appeals For Polio Funding For Horn Of Africa; Disease Detected In Cameroon

“Two U.N. agencies on Friday called on countries in the Horn of Africa region to remain watchful as [a] polio outbreak has significantly slowed down,” Xinhua reports. “The [WHO] and UNICEF also appealed for $88 million to support [regional] governments’ polio eradication efforts in 2014 and maintain the momentum built…

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