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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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.”…

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…

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…