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New York Times Examines Efforts To Trace MERS Virus Origin

The New York Times reports on researchers’ efforts to trace the origin of the coronavirus causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). “The virus, first detected [in Saudi Arabia] last year, is known to have infected at least 77 people, killing 40 of them, in eight countries,” the newspaper writes, adding,…

Recognizing Efforts Of Humanitarian Workers To Save Lives In Syria

“Along with widespread destruction and violence in Syria, health facilities are being destroyed, and medical staff are being targeted. And yet doctors, nurses, and medical staff — tireless heroes in this conflict — have been quietly working at USAID-funded health facilities across Syria since February 2012,” Rebecca Gustafson of USAID’s…

Pakistan Faces Measles Epidemic

“Pakistan has been hit by a measles epidemic that has claimed the lives of hundreds of children since the start of the year, almost as many as in the whole of 2012,” the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog reports. “The [WHO] has recorded nearly 30,000 cases and 290…

Huffington Post Live Looks At Public Health Crisis In Syria

Huffington Post Live features an interview with two doctors and a nurse, representing several of dozens of American doctors who “are traveling to Syria doing their part to help treat a public health crisis in the midst of a civil war,” HuffPo Live correspondent Ahmed Shihab-Eldin states. Shihab-Eldin says “70…

Pakistani Taliban Deny Responsibility For Attacks On Polio Workers

“The Pakistani Taliban on Friday denied any involvement in attacks on polio workers, which have killed 21 people since December, but confirmed it opposed the vaccination as ‘un-Islamic,'” Agence France-Presse reports. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesperson for the umbrella group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told AFP, “We have no link with the attacks on…

U.N. Aid Agency Heads Appeal To World Leaders To End Syrian Violence

“World leaders must act urgently to break the diplomatic deadlock around Syria if they want to prevent the crisis from reaching a dangerous tipping point, the heads of the United Nations aid agencies said on Monday in a rare political appeal,” Reuters reports (Humphries, 4/15). In the statement, published as an…

International Community Seems Powerless To Stop Attacks On Polio Workers

Noting a number of attacks against polio workers in Pakistan over the past few months, Asif Saeed Memon, an associate fellow at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, writes in a Dawn.com opinion piece, “As a response to the attacks, the governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suspended the campaign for a…

Increase In Violence Hindering Access To Health Care In Afghanistan, Red Cross Warns

“An increase in armed groups and the splintering of insurgent factions is cutting Afghans off from health care in ever greater numbers, the Red Cross has warned,”The Guardian reports. “Roadblocks, roadside bombs, the risk of being caught up in fighting and unprovoked attacks are all stopping civilians from getting to hospitals,…