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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…

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,…

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…

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,…