MERS-CoV not an emergency, experts tell WHO…(Time To Be Aware!!)
Jul 17, 2013
The MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) situation is “serious and of great concern” but doesn’t rise to the level of a global public health emergency, an international committee of experts organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) decided today.
The committee felt that the “dramatic action” of declaring an emergency would be disproportionate and might do more harm than good, said Keiji Fukuda, MD, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and environment. The panel’s recommendation was unanimous.
At a press conference, Fukuda also said the WHO does not plan to recommend any travel restrictions over MERS-CoV, but it will issue some travel-related advice within a few days.
The WHO announcement came hours after Saudi Arabia reported two more confirmed MERS-CoV cases, both of them mild. They involve a 26-year-old Saudi man and a 42-year-old female “resident,” both of them living in the southwestern province of Asir.
The man had contact with a previous case-patient, and the woman works in the health sector, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement. Neither patient was hospitalized.
A previous MERS case in Asir involved a 66-year-old man and was reported by the MOH on Jul 8. The MOH said it has tested 1,460 people for the virus in the past few weeks.
The two newest cases raise the global count to 84 cases, with 45 deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (The WHO has not yet acknowledged the two cases.) Of the total, 68 cases and 38 deaths have occurred in Saudi Arabia.