About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

MERS Cases in Decline, WHO Urged Vigilance for Hajj

by Bidita Debnath on June 17, 2014 at 11:09 PM
Font : A-A+

 MERS Cases in Decline, WHO Urged Vigilance for Hajj

A surge in cases of the deadly MERS virus has receded, but countries must maintain vigilance for the Muslim pilgrimages to Saudi, worst hit by the disease, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"The upsurge in cases that began in April has now decreased and there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission in communities," it said in a statement.

Advertisement

However, "the situation continues to be of concern, especially given the anticipated increase in travel to Saudi Arabia related to Umrah, Ramadan and the Hajj," the UN health agency said.

The communique was issued after a teleconference of health officials from seven countries where there have been cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Advertisement

They were Algeria, Iran, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

MERS has killed 284 people in Saudi Arabia since it first emerged in April 2012, and hundreds more have been infected. Twenty-two countries have reported cases.

It is considered a deadlier but less transmissible cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and killed hundreds of people, mostly in China.

Close contact with camels has been fingered as the likely source of MERS in humans, according to a preliminary investigation by the WHO.

Millions of pilgrims visit holy sites in western Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj, the major Muslim pilgrimage that this year will take place in October, and for the Umrah, which is performed throughout the year.

Last year, five million pilgrims visited the kingdom for Umrah and Hajj.

The WHO said its Emergency Committee on MERS unanimously concluded that the conditions needed to declare a worldwide alert, dubbed a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern", "have not yet been met."

But it urged vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa, to beef up monitoring, raise public awareness and implement basic infection procedures.

David Heymann, a professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was vital to put in place measures to protect health workers and hospital patients from infection by someone with the MERS virus.

"Health workers are at great risk from emerging infections and can then unintentionally infect other patients and contacts including family members if hospital infection control measures are not in place or not being respected,? Heymann said in comments reported by the Science Media Centre in London.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines May Improve Mental Health
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
First Case of MERS Virus in Bangladesh
First case of deadly MERS virus was reported in Bangladesh on Sunday, after a Bangladesh-born US ......
Algeria Reports First MERS Death
The first fatality due to MERS virus was reported in Algeria, when an Algerian man in his fifties .....
Circus Performers March Against Mexico City's Ban
A march against Mexico City's pending ban on circus animals was held Tuesday by 1,000 clowns, ......
Soda Consumers Drinking More Fructose Than Labels Reveal: Study
Consumers of soda may be getting a much higher dose of the harmful sugar fructose than they have ......
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
MERS, a newly discovered respiratory disease, was recently reported in the Arabian region. MERS is c...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use