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WSJ Blog Examines Saudi Arabia’s Response To MERS In Lead Up To Hajj

“Saudi Arabia continues to report sporadic new cases and deaths from a lethal new coronavirus, as hajj season in October — when the kingdom expects more than three million pilgrims from 187 countries — approaches,” the Wall Street Journal’s “Middle East Real Time” blog reports. “As of Friday, the Saudi…

FAO, USAID Urge Continued Surveillance, Action To Prevent Spread Of Avian Flu Viruses

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) “has issued a new warning to the international community that the H7N9 and H5N1 avian influenza viruses continue to pose serious threats to human and animal health, especially in view of the upcoming flu season,” an FAO news article reports. Noting “USAID support…

Researchers Trace Evolution Of H7N9, Find Other Similar Viral Strains

“Researchers have traced the evolution of the [H7N9] avian flu currently spreading in China, and have found evidence that it developed in parallel with a similar bird flu, H7N7, which can infect mammals,” Nature reports. “Although there is no evidence that this H7N7 strain will infect humans, the authors of…

NIH Director Speaks To Huffington Post About Effects Of Sequestration

The Huffington Post features an interview with NIH Director Francis Collins, who speaks about the effects of sequestration on the agency’s budget. Because of forced cuts, “[i]nternal NIH estimates show that it will end up cutting more than the 700 research grants the institutes initially planned to sacrifice in the…

Nearly 3B Risk Ill Health From Household Air Pollution

Agence France-Presse: 2.8 bln risk ill health from home air pollution “Nearly three billion people risk ill health and early death merely from breathing the air in their homes that is polluted by fires made for cooking and heating, researchers said…”(9/3).

Researchers Looking For Effective MERS Treatment Model To Test Experimental Drugs

TIME: Remember MERS? Scientists Want Treatments to be Ready, Unlike Ebola “…Right before MERS slipped off our collective radars only to be replaced by the deadly Ebola virus one continent over, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported in July that it had received reports of 837 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection…

Secondary MERS Infections Mild Among Patients’ Families, Study Shows

Reuters: Scientists find mild cases of MERS among patients’ families “Fewer than half of Saudi Arabian patients in a study passed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus to household members, and many of those who developed secondary infections contracted mild cases of MERS, global researchers reported on Wednesday…” (Steenhuysen, 8/27).

Saudi Health Ministry Says No MERS Cases Detected So Far Among Hajj Pilgrims

“Saudi Arabia has so far recorded no cases of the deadly MERS coronavirus among pilgrims in the holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj season, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday,” Reuters reports. “The death toll from the respiratory virus in the kingdom, where the strain emerged last…

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