Disease Outbreaks

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WHO Reports New MERS Cases In Saudi Arabia, UAE

News outlets report on new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cases identified in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Reuters: Six new cases of MERS virus hit Saudi Arabia, UAE “Another five people in Saudi Arabia and one in the United Arab Emirates have become infected with the potentially deadly…

H7N9 Bird Flu Spreads Outside Mainland China To Hong Kong, Taiwan

News outlets report on the emergence of H7N9 bird flu in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Wall Street Journal: Taiwan Confirms Second Human Bird-Flu Case “Taiwan confirmed its second human case of the H7N9 bird flu Tuesday, a sign that the deadly virus is spreading further beyond mainland China…” (Poon, 12/31).…

News Outlets Examine Biggest Global Health, Development Stories Of 2013

News outlets look back at the biggest global health and development stories of 2013. Lancet correspondent Tim Dehnel highlights challenges that arose this year in the global polio response, the emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), the emergence of the H7N9 strain of bird flu in China, and advances…

FAO Report Warns Zoonosis Becoming More Common; MERS Can Infect Camels, Research Shows

“About 70 percent of new diseases infecting humans in recent decades have come from animals, the United Nations food agency … reported [Monday], warning that it is getting easier for diseases to jump species and spread as the population, agriculture and food-supply chains grow,” the U.N. News Centre reports. According…

Polio Resurgence In Syria Could Reinvigorate Global Campaign Against Disease

“As of November 26, WHO has confirmed a polio outbreak with a total of 17 cases caused by wild poliovirus type one in Syria, which had been polio-free since 1999,” a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial states. “At present, polio is endemic in three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan,” the…

Nigeria’s Kano State Faces Cholera Outbreak

“Ten people in Nigeria’s Kano State have died from cholera and another 300 have been hospitalized with the disease, health officials said,” United Press International reports. “Tijjani Hussein, the deputy director of the state’s ministry of health, said the government is advising residents to rush their family members to the…

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…