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WHO concludes MERS-CoV mission in Saudi Arabia (EMRO, May 7 2014)

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  • WHO concludes MERS-CoV mission in Saudi Arabia (EMRO, May 7 2014)

    [Source: World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, full page: (LINK).]


    WHO concludes MERS-CoV mission in Saudi Arabia


    Cairo, Egypt 7 May, 2014 – A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) completed a 5-day mission to Saudi Arabia to assist the national health authorities to assess the recent increase in the number of people infected by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Jeddah.

    As of 3 May, 489 cases, including 126 deaths, were reported to WHO globally and 406 cases, including 101 deaths, from Saudi Arabia. These numbers can change from one day to the next according to when Member States inform WHO.

    The team looked into the epidemiological, disease prevention, organizational and communication aspects of this recent outbreak to understand the public health risk and transmission chain and to propose next steps and actions.

    After meeting health officials in the capital, WHO experts visited two main hospitals in Jeddah to analyse transmission patterns and review infection control measures.

    Key findings of the Jeddah outbreak include the following.
    • Current evidence does not suggest that a recent increase in numbers reflects a significant change in the transmissibility of the virus.
    • The upsurge in cases can be explained by an increase, possibly seasonal, in the number of primary cases amplified by several outbreaks in hospitals due to breaches in WHO’s recommended infection prevention and control measures.
    • There is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission in the community and the transmission pattern overall remained unchanged.
    • The majority of human-to-human infections occurred in health care facilities.
    • One quarter of all cases have been health care workers.
    • There is a clear need to improve health care workers’ knowledge and attitudes about the disease and systematically apply WHO’s recommended infection prevention and control measures in health care facilities.
    The reasons for the increase in the number of primary community cases, as well as the infection route, remain unknown.

    Three quarters of all primary community cases have been male, the majority of whom have been over 50 years old.

    Secondary transmission in the community and households is much lower than in health care settings.

    Some confirmed cases presented with mild or no symptoms.
    Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to carefully review unusual patterns.

    WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions, including for upcoming pilgrimage travel to Saudi Arabia.


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  • #2
    Re: WHO concludes MERS-CoV mission in Saudi Arabia (EMRO, May 7 2014)

    I'm sorry for all the smilies but, they somehow seemed appropriate. We don't know how the virus is being spread but, we aren't worried.....and we are leaving. I feel so confident in their assessment....NOT!
    Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

    Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
    Thank you,
    Shannon Bennett

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    • #3
      Re: WHO concludes MERS-CoV mission in Saudi Arabia (EMRO, May 7 2014)

      Originally posted by Shannon View Post
      I'm sorry for all the smilies but, they somehow seemed appropriate. We don't know how the virus is being spread but, we aren't worried.....and we are leaving. I feel so confident in their assessment....NOT!
      I think that WHO governance may need an overhaul, as said earlier.

      However, an international experts Group has been sent in a crisis area, as happened in various instances in the past (ie H5N1 cluster in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, etc.) and after reviewing data and ground situation, Drew a preliminary conclusion report.

      The actual situation may differ substantially from the picture portrayed in the above report but IT MAY BE THE CASE WHERE OUR PERCEIVED SITUATION DOES NOT MATCH CURRENT EVIDENCE AND TRUE SITUATION.

      It may be also that a big lie is behind the statement and the conclusion unrealiable.

      But we have also to understand that not in any case our expectation match true events.

      Disappointed but the exported cases in the US, Greece, Egypt and elsewhere will tell truth about transmissibility of MERS. gm

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WHO concludes MERS-CoV mission in Saudi Arabia (EMRO, May 7 2014)

        Given the region where this is happening, the global political requriements of maintaining regional stability (including oil and supply), the guardianship of KSA of Mecca on behalf of the islamic world and all the other factors that are at play means that there will be an awful lot of politics involved here.

        As Giuseppe has stated. The truth of the situation will be revealed by the numbers of exported cases, and the degree of onward transmission observed in those cases, or not.

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