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MERS Vaccine Research Progresses As Saudi Arabia Faces Outbreak Ahead Of Hajj

Foreign Policy: As Saudi Arabia Grapples With MERS Outbreak, a Vaccine Is in Sight
“Just one month before the beginning of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage of more than two million Muslims to Mecca, an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh has sparked fears that the country could become the epicenter for a global health crisis. … But amid fears that the annual arrival and departure of pilgrims could spread the virus around the globe, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made a breakthrough in the fight against MERS, which has claimed over 480 lives since it was discovered in 2012…” (Stackpole, 8/21).

Wall Street Journal: Saudi Arabia Reports 6 New Cases of MERS
“…The surging number of cases … comes as Saudi Arabia prepares to welcome next month more than two million pilgrims to the Muslim holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage. In addition, the threat of the viral disease spreading could increase as more than five million Saudi students resume school on Sunday after summer vacation. ‘The Ministry of Health is working at full capacity to contain the current outbreak of the virus,’ Health Minister Khalid al-Falih said Saturday on Twitter…” (Al Omran, 8/23).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.