WHO Expresses Worry Over Middle East Respiratory Virus

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has expressed concerns about the possibility of an international spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus currently ravaging Saudi Arabia.

The global health agency stated this after an emergency meeting it convened on Friday, February 6.

The ‎Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-Cov) is described as a viral respiratory illness, caused by a coronavirus called MERS-Cov with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Between January 14 and 22, WHO says 9 additional cases of MERS-Cov infection including 4 deaths were recorded in Saudi Arabia.

Globally, WHO says it has been notified of 965 laboratory cases of the infection, including at least 357 related deaths.

Efforts are currently being made by the WHO to conduct household contact tracing of cases and encourage health institutions across the world to continue their surveillance for acute respiratory infection and carefully review any unusual pattern.

The committee further emphasized that, although the pattern of transmission appears relatively unchanged, the overall situation and the possibility of international spread remains of concern therefore, results of case -control studies from affected countries are urgently needed.

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