Middle East Respiratory Syndrome not global public health emergency

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Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Health Security. (video capture)

The spread of the sometimes fatal Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus, known as Mers-Co V, is serious, but it is not yet an international public health emergency, according to the World Health Organization.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Health Security told reporters on Wednesday that experts have met to review the relevant facts.

"What they said is that they believe that the situation had increased in terms of its seriousness and urgency but that it did not at this point still constitute a public health emergency of international concern. Given that assessment and given all of the discussion, they did stress a number of key points. One of the points that they highlighted was the need for urgent attention to strengthen infection prevention and control measures everywhere, but they emphasized the importance of this in the affected countries." (31")

Thirteen countries that have reported cases of MERS-CoV or evidence of the infection since December 2013 participated in the first part of the meeting.

They are Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Yemen.

The World Health Organization's Emergency Committee on Mers-CoV is expected to meet again next month or earlier if circumstances require.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations

Duration:  1’33″


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