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Researchers Discover MERS Virus In Bat In Saudi Arabia

“The virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been found in [one bat] in Saudi Arabia, suggesting a potential origin for the disease, according to a new study” published Wednesday in the CDC’s “Emerging Infectious Diseases” journal, Live Science reports (Rettner, 8/21). “An international research team said the…

Global Polio Eradication Effort Facing Setbacks In Africa, Middle East

“The global effort to eradicate polio, a disease that has been on the brink of extinction for years, is facing serious setbacks on two continents,” the New York Times reports. “The virus is surging in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, which had been largely free of cases for several…

Number Of Child Refugees Fleeing Syria Reaches 1M, U.N. Reports

“The number of children among refugees who have fled Syria’s civil war has reached one million, the United Nations said” Friday, Bloomberg Businessweek reports (Yoon, 8/23). “Roughly half of all the nearly two million registered refugees from Syria are children, and some 740,000 of those are under the age of…

MERS Cases Announced In Saudi Arabia, Qatar; Scientists Debate Suspected Bat Vector

“A Saudi man has died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the kingdom’s death toll from the SARS-like virus to 42, health authorities said Wednesday, adding a new case was registered,” Agence France-Presse reports (8/28). And “[h]ealth authorities in Qatar announced the second confirmed case in a week of the MERS…

WHO Update Reports 102 Recorded MERS Cases, 49 Deaths

“Eight more people in Saudi Arabia have contracted the MERS coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed infections worldwide in the past year to 102, of whom almost half have died, the [WHO] said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports. “The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which can cause coughing, fever and…

Global Health Community Must Recognize, Address Health Care Crisis In Syria

Noting that UNICEF reported last week that the number of child refugees fleeing conflict in Syria has reached one million, a Lancet editorial states, “Syria has presented the world with a geopolitical crisis. The global community must not ignore the health crisis that continues to deepen.” The editorial continues, “After…

Escalation Of Syrian Crisis Following Chemical Weapons Investigation Would Aggravate Civilian Suffering, ICRC Warns

“Any escalation of the Syrian crisis following an apparent chemical weapons attack will aggravate civilian suffering, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “Areas plagued by heavy fighting, including the countryside around Damascus, eastern Aleppo and Deir Ezzor province, are already reeling from breakdowns of…

Researchers Continue Search For MERS Origin

The Economist reports on the search for the origin of the MERS virus, noting of 103 cases recorded by the CDC, 49 have been fatal — “a scary death rate.” The magazine details the search, which “was started by Ali Zaki of the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi…

U.N. Agencies To Continue Assistance To Syrian Refugees Despite Escalating Tension

“The United Nations children’s agency is scaling up its assistance to thousands of Syrian refugee children and their families in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where tens of thousands of families arrived in recent weeks,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “A plane carrying 100 tons of supplies — including water…

Efforts To Eradicate Polio Continue In Israel, Pakistan

NPR’s “Shots” blog and “Morning Edition” program report on nationwide efforts in Israel to vaccinate one million children against polio after researchers found the virus in 85 different sewage samples from across the country. “Getting rid of polio flare-ups, like the one in Israel right now, is a crucial part…