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Tag search: "MERS"

Promoting health through the life course

UN helps Syria's women farmers by treating their livestock

More than a million sheep, goats and cows have been treated for parasites in Syria to help resurrect the country`s war-battered food production and shore up its female farmers, a U.N. agency said. The FAO said it had wrapped up a three-month, anti-parasite campaign, reaching 234,000 farmers in government and rebel-held areas in ten regions, including Homs, Aleppo and Hasakeh. The recipients were mostly women, who are traditionally responsible for livestock in rural Syria and who now make up more than 60 percent of the country`s agricultural workforce

July 14, 2017

Preparedness, surveillance and response

A bird flu pandemic looms but the US is holding back the fight

Just two mutations could turn H7N9 flu into a deadly airborne strain, but restrictions meant to protect us from a possible pandemic are making it harder to combat the next one. This year, H7N9 in China acquired a mutation that makes it kill birds, and possibly people, faster. “Without animal infection studies, we can only speculate what might happen,” says Paulson. “Biology is complex, so we can predict that one set of mutations will influence transmission, but it is only that, a prediction.” But neither Paulson nor Fouchier are allowed to make viruses with these mutations. After Fouchier created transmissible H5N1, a regulatory committee in the US tried to stop the work being published, saying terrorists could use it to create a lethal pandemic. There were also fears that other labs would try to copy the work without sufficient containment, and a dangerous virus might then escape. The H5N1 work was finally published, but the US halted Gain-of-Function (GOF) research for flu viruses, and for SARS and MERS

June 20, 2017
New Scientist

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 1 and 10 June 2017, the national IHR focal point of Saudi Arabia reported 35 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection including three fatal cases and one death among previously reported cases. One cluster is in Riyadh city with 23 cases. The second cluster is in a Riyadh hospital related to the 1st cluster. The third cluster is in a third hospital in Riyadh city

June 13, 2017

MERS: Saudi Arabia reported 6 fatal cases, United Arab Emirates and Qatar report cases

According to a World Health Organization outbreak update, for the five weeks from April 21 through May 29, Saudi Arabia reported an additional 25 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection cases, including six fatalities. Twelve of the 25 reported cases during this time period were associated with three simultaneous, yet unrelated clusters of MERS cases in Bisha city, Riyadh city and Wadi Aldwaser city. In addition to the Saudi Arabia cases, two more cases were reported in the United Arab Emirates and one in Qatar

June 8, 2017
Outbreak News Today

Three Saudi hospitals report MERS outbreaks since April, WHO says

Three Saudi hospitals have reported outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome since April 21, with 12 people catching the potentially deadly disease from infected patients who later died, the World Health Organization said. The hospitals were in Riyadh, in Bisha city and in Wadi al-Dawasir in Riyad province

June 6, 2017

Search for Zika and Ebola in Kenya finds deadly germs

A four year countrywide search for the deadly Ebola, Zika and Marburg virus in bats has identified germs that are potentially dangerous to Kenyans. A collaboration between Kenya and China found local bats host viruses closely related to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)  

April 13, 2017
Standard Media

MERS causes new Saudi hospital outbreak: WHO

Ten people have caught the MERS corona virus after an outbreak in a haemodialysis unit in a hospital in Saudi Arabia, WHO said, without, at first, giving details of how the virus was able to spread within the hospital. At least 49 patients and medical staff were exposed. Later, Scientific American reported the cause was identified as a wrong diagnosis and wrong subsequent treatment

April 4, 2017
Reuters, Enca, Jakarta Globe, Scientific American, The National

Non communicable diseases

South India's scorching drought forces farmers into debt bondage

One of the worst droughts in decades across south India is forcing tens of thousands of farmers and labourers to take out loans to survive, pushing them into debt bondage and increasing the risk that they may be exploited, activists warn. Then there follows on from this that there is a chance of not managing to cope, leading to a higher risk of suicide

April 18, 2017

Communicable diseases

Emerging infectious diseases, One Health and India

Researchers writing in the journal Nature analysed associations between 754 mammals and 586 viruses to understand what determines viral richness, diversity and zoonotic potential. Bats were found to harbour the highest numbers of zoonotic viruses and are also a major reservoir for coronaviruses. These include the SARS virus that emerged in China in 2002, spread to 27 countries and killed 774 people and the MERS coronavirus that caused 640 deaths. The transmission of infectious disease requires contact, the probability increasing with population density. With 1.34 billion people, 512 million livestock and 729 million poultry, the density and rates of human–animal, animal–animal and human–human contacts are high in India

July 15, 2017
The Hindu

Transparent communication holds key to infectious disease control

There were a number of reasons for the heavier-than-expected number of cases from MERS in South Korea two years ago, but none were more important than transparent communication, or the lack thereof, participants at a workshop agreed. Park Ki-soo, the spokesperson for Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), said, “If we had released the right information at the right time to the right people, I predict that we would have had less than 100 infected patients”

June 14, 2017
Korea Biomed

Engineered protein enlisted to battle the MERS virus

Researchers converted a staple human ubiquitin protein into an anti-viral tool. Through subtle tweaks, they created an engineered version of the ubiquitin that binds more tightly and paralyzes a key enzyme in MERS to halt viral replication in cells. This custom-engineered protein destroyed the deadly virus in the lab, it could become a sweeping anti-viral in medicine in farming

May 19, 2017
Science Daily