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Qatar Reports 4th MERS Death; WHO Says Case-Fatality Rate At 39%

“An expatriate living in Qatar has died of [Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)], bringing to four the number of deaths in the Gulf state from the coronavirus, health authorities said on Friday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine,” the…

WHO Confirms Additional Polio Cases In Syria

“The [WHO] said on Tuesday that additional polio cases had been confirmed in two new areas of Syria, including near Damascus and in the northern city of Aleppo near Turkey,” Reuters reports. “‘In addition to 15 polio cases in Deir al-Zor province, Syria, two additional cases have been confirmed, one…

MERS Found In Camels, Raising Suspicion As Animal Reservoir

“Scientists have found cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in camels in Qatar, health officials said on Thursday, fueling speculation that camels might be the animal reservoir that allowed the virus to infect and kill humans,” Reuters reports. A statement from Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health said the virus…

PBS NewsHour Examines Humanitarian Situation In Syria

PBS NewsHour features a report on the growing number of refugees and internally displaced persons resulting from ongoing fighting in Syria. “Fighting and a government blockade are preventing food from reaching tens of thousands of civilians in the suburbs around the capital [of Damascus] that are under rebel control,” the…

Polio Outbreak In Syria Expected To Worsen; Refugees, Children Need Humanitarian Aid

The polio outbreak in Syria “has grown to 17 confirmed cases, the WHO said last week” and declared a polio emergency in the country, NPR’s “Shots” blog and “All Things Considered” reports. “The Syrian government has pledged to immunize all Syrian children under age five. But wartime politics is getting…

Another 3 People In UAE Sick With MERS, 2 Die In Qatar, WHO Reports

“Another three people in the United Arab Emirates are sick with the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus and two people infected with it in Qatar have died, the [WHO] said on Monday,” Reuters reports. “Human cases of MERS have so far been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan,…

WHO Emergency Committee On MERS Says Situation Not An Emergency

“After discussing the latest developments, the [WHO's] emergency committee on the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) decided today that the MERS situation still does not amount to an international public health emergency,” CIDRAP News reports. However, “the panel felt that the situation is still of concern in view of…

WHO, UNICEF Launch Polio Vaccination Campaign Targeting 23M Children In Middle East

“The [WHO] and UNICEF have launched a massive polio vaccination campaign aimed at immunizing 23 million children in the Middle East after 17 cases were discovered in Syria, the agencies announced Monday,” Al Jazeera America reports. “It will be the largest-ever immunization response in the region, WHO and [UNICEF] said…