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WHO warns of risk to Syrian refugees as Mers virus cases increase sharply
UN health body fears secondary infections may be rising, raising potential for global spread and stirring memories of Sars virus
The World Health Organisation (WHO) will hold urgent talks next week on the often fatal Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) virus, after a sharp increase in infections in Saudi Arabia, and the first reported case in Lebanon.
The virus has killed 164 people in the Middle East in the past two years – 126 in Saudi Arabia alone – and the number of cases in numerous countries in the region has risen in recent weeks.
There are fears that secondary infections may be rising, raising the potential for a greater global spread, and stirring memories of the Sars virus, which claimed more than 700 lives in east Asia in 2003, causing mass fear and disruption.
Mers is a coronavirus, like Sars, but is not transmitted as easily. However, more than 30% of people infected with it die, as opposed to a 10% mortality rate with Sars patients. The relatively high death rate has alarmed public health officials across the region, particularly those working with vulnerable Syrian refugee populations.
Another five deaths and 14 new infections were announced by Saudi authorities on Friday.
I see a commercialized pandemic brewing
A 5-year old Egyptian child has been quarantined for suspicion of contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), commonly known as coronavirus.
Globally, from September 2012 to (May 5, 2014), WHO has been informed of a total of 496 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV. This total includes 229 cases reported between 11 April and 4 May by Saudi Arabia, and the recent reports of 3 cases from Jordan, and one case each from Egypt, the United States, and Yemen.
WHO will update the global total number of deaths as soon as official information is provided by countries.
...If commercial computer anti-virus companies can engage in this kind of activity to boost business, why can't biological anti-virus companies (vaccine producers) do the same for fun and profit?