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Saudi Response To MERS Hindered By Underlying Problems In Health System, Sources Say

Reuters: Saudi MERS response hobbled by institutional failings “When Saudi Arabia announced last week it had found 113 more cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), it didn’t just force a rethink of the threat the virus poses, it exposed institutional failings. Saudi health sources and international virologists…

Iran Records First MERS Cases, WHO Says; Kuwait Identifies Camels With Virus

CIDRAP News: WHO confirms MERS in Iran as Kuwait finds virus in camels “The World Health Organization (WHO) [Wednesday] confirmed the first two MERS-CoV cases in Iran, reported recently in the news media, while another media story said Kuwait has found the virus in five camels…” (Roos, 6/11).

Algeria Records First MERS Case

Reuters: Algeria reports first MERS death “Algeria said a 66-year-old man died from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the first deadly case of the virus in the North African country…” (6/11).

Iranian Family Planning Push Raises Ire Among Some Women, Activists

New York Times: Urged to Multiply, Iranian Couples Are Dubious “…Worried about a steep decline in fertility rates that experts are predicting could reduce population growth to zero within 20 years, Tehran has started a broad initiative to persuade Iranian families to have more children. … [However,] some women and…

Drought Compounds WASH, Health Problems In Syria, U.N. Says

New York Times: Syria: Drought Adds to Woes, U.N. Says “The supply of safe water in Syria is now one-third of the level it was before March 2011 when the civil war began, UNICEF said Friday in a report that warns of new levels of suffering because of a worsening…

Increase In Saudi MERS Cases Raises Questions About Transparency

Reuters: Scientists question Saudi openness on deadly MERS virus outbreak “A dramatic upward revision in the number of people killed by the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia may signal a fresh approach from Riyadh, but also raises new questions about how the two-year-old outbreak has been handled…” (Kelland, 6/5).

Humanitarian Needs Rise In Syria; U.S. Pledges $290M In Assistance

News outlets report on the rising humanitarian needs in Syria and a U.S. pledge to commit $290 million in humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country. The Hill: U.S. pledges $290M in humanitarian aid to Syrian victims “Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday announced $290 million in humanitarian assistance to…

Study Identifies Camel As Source Of MERS Infection In Saudi Man

News outlets report on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine supporting the theory that camels are a source of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Associated Press: Study documents MERS spread from camel to person “A new report offers the strongest evidence yet that a…