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Saudi Arabia, WHO Report 3 Additional MERS Cases

“Saudi Arabia and the [WHO] reported three new MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases in that country today, all of them in women, two of whom are health care workers,” CIDRAP News reports. “One of the patients is a 67-year-old Saudi citizen in Riyadh who has various chronic diseases…

U.N., E.U. Officials Call For More Humanitarian Action In Syria

Paulo Pinheiro, chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, on Monday spoke to the U.N. General Assembly and “urged the international community to demand a diplomatic solution to the 2 1/2-year conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people,” the Associated Press reports. “He said 4.5 million…

Food Aid Being Used As Weapon In Syria, NPR Reports

NPR’s “Morning Edition” examines how food aid is being used in Syria “as a weapon to control the population in both government and rebel territory.” “The civil war in Syria has left millions of people dependent on food aid,” but “delivering that aid to rebel-held areas is an enormous challenge,”…

Syrian Physician Discusses Medical Care In Conflict Zones

In a post on the Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition blog, Sarah Dwyer, a communications manager at IntraHealth International, which is a member of the coalition, writes about Qasem al Zein, a Syrian physician who was head of the hospital at Al Qusair when the country’s revolution began. Qasem has…

No Need For Hajj Pilgrims To Be Screened For MERS, WHO States

“The risk from a new Middle East respiratory virus for millions of Muslims planning to go to the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia is very low and there is no need for pilgrims to be screened, the [WHO] said on Thursday,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 7/25). “Saying the risk to…

U.N. Agencies Continue To Deliver Humanitarian Aid In Syria Despite Violence

“While violence continues unabated in many parts of Syria, United Nations agencies are working to deliver humanitarian assistance, in spite of difficult security conditions and restricted access to various areas, a spokesperson for the world body said [Friday],” the U.N. News Centre reports. According to the news service, “the World…

WHO Reports 6 More Cases Of MERS Virus In Saudi Arabia, UAE

“Six more people, most of them health care workers, have contracted the deadly MERS virus in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the [WHO] said Thursday,” Agence France-Presse reports (7/18). “The latest infections of four women and two men aged between 26 and 42 bring the global total to…

MERS Virus Not A ‘Public Health Emergency,’ WHO Emergency Committee Declares

“The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS) is not a ‘public health emergency of international concern,’ the emergency committee of the [WHO] said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports (Nebehay, 7/17). “The committee felt that the ‘dramatic action’ of declaring an emergency would be disproportionate and might do more harm than good,…