Middle East MERS-CoV respiratory syndrome coronavirus remains serious and is an issue of great concern.

The original article can be found in: St Martin News Network

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):— Section General Health Care (SGHC) that falls under Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) has convened two International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee Meetings in connection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The committee reviewed and deliberated on information on a range of aspects of MERS-CoV, which was prepared or coordinated by the Secretariat and States in response to questions presented by Members during the first meeting.

It is the unanimous decision of the Committee with the information now available, and using a risk-assessment approach, the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, have not at present been met, however the situation is serious and of great concern.

The WHO has been informed of an additional 18 new laboratory-confirmed cases including three deaths with MERS-CoV infection in Saudi Arabia. These cases were announced by the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia within the first two weeks of September.

Additionally, in Qatar, a previously laboratory-confirmed patient died in the first week of September.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases, however the NCoV itself has not yet been found in an animal.

Travelers who return with symptoms from areas affected by the virus should call their family physician immediately. This is in connection with the Minister of Public Health’s ‘Get Checked’ campaign in order to protect public health.

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, the WHO has been informed of a total of 132 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 58 deaths.

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