Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MERS Claims More Victims in Saudi, UAE

The World Health Organization has been informed of eight more confirmed cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia. Five of those stricken were previously reported here (see Saudi MERS Deaths; Infections Continue to Rise, August 26, 2013), including one death.

Most of the stricken are from the Riyadh area, with two cases in Asir, in the southwest region of the country. One previously reported victim from the United Arab Emirates has died.

The three newest cases are all from Riyadh and involve 54 year old man with existing medical conditions who has passed away and two women, aged 50 and 59, both with prior medical conditions and both currently in intensive care.

In early July, 2013 WHO convened an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR). Between September 2012 and today, they have confirmed 102 MERS infections and 49 deaths.

WHO does not, as yet, consider the slowing spreading disease to be a public health emergency. Today's report concludes:
"...with the information now available, and using a risk-assessment approach, the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have not at present been met."
WHO recommends health care workers remain vigilant and hospitals use infection prevention and control (IPC) techniques to prevent the spread to other patients, health care workers and visitors.

image from http://www.health.am

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