WHO To Convene Emergency Committee On MERS Virus As Saudi Arabia Reports 1 New Case, 2 Deaths

“The [WHO] is to convene an emergency committee next week on the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), WHO assistant director-general for health security and environment Keiji Fukuda said Friday,” Xinhua reports (7/5). Fukuda “told reporters Friday that the names of the disease experts on the team would be revealed Monday,” the Los Angeles Times writes, adding, “He characterized the move as a precautionary measure” (Brown, 7/5). “Fukuda said there was currently no emergency or pandemic but the experts would advise on how to tackle the disease if the number of cases suddenly grows,” according to VOA News (7/5). “In a study in The Lancet medical journal, researchers from France’s Institut Pasteur in Paris analyzed data on [MERS] clusters and found its likelihood of developing into a SARS-like worldwide epidemic was low,” Reuters notes (Kelland, 7/4). “The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has announced one additional laboratory-confirmed case and two deaths in previously confirmed cases … in Saudi Arabia, according to a [WHO] update” on Sunday, the Global Dispatch reports (Herriman, 7/7). “A two-year-old child died in Jeddah and a 53-year-old man died in Eastern Province, where the outbreak has been concentrated, the ministry said,” Reuters writes in a second article (McDowall, 7/7).