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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…

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…

Deaths From 2009 H1N1 Outbreak Likely Higher Than WHO Estimated, Analysis Shows

“Deaths from H1N1 influenza in 2009 may have been 10 times higher than previously estimated, killing 123,000 to 203,000 people from respiratory illness worldwide, according to a new analysis in the journal PLOS Medicine,” published on Tuesday, USA Today reports (Szab, 11/26). “The [WHO] had said there were about 18,500…

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…

Singapore’s Dengue Fever Outbreak May Continue To Worsen, Authorities Warn

“Authorities in Singapore are warning that Singapore’s most deadly outbreak of dengue fever since 2005 could get worse, after the disease claimed its seventh victim despite a vigorous effort by the government to control the epidemic,” the Wall Street Journal’s “Southeast Asia Real Time” blog reports. “More than 20,000 cases…

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,…

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…

LiveScience Series Examines Impacts Of Population Growth

Noting the U.N. estimates the global population could grow to 11 million people by the end of the century, LiveScience in a weeklong series “is taking a look at the impacts a population of 11 billion people might have on our home planet.” On Tuesday, the news service examined the…

Zimbabwe Capital Risks Cholera Outbreak, Human Rights Watch Warns

“Human Rights Watch on Tuesday warned that Zimbabwe’s capital Harare was at risk of repeating a cholera outbreak five years ago that killed over 4,200 people,” Agence France-Presse/France 24 reports (11/19). According to the group, “residents in Harare’s poorest townships have little access to clean piped water and often resort…

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…

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