Colds and flu

18 July 2013

MERS not a global emergency

MERS does not constitute a public health emergency of international concern, according to the World Health Organization.

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The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) does not constitute a "public health emergency of international concern", the emergency committee of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, while offering technical advice on travel and other issues.

The body, composed of 15 international experts, issued a unanimous decision after hearing reports from authorities in Saudi Arabia and other countries affected by the deadly SARS-like virus that has infected 82 people and killed 45 of them.

"Based on these views and the currently available information, the (WHO) Director-General (Margaret Chan) accepted the Committee's assessment that the current MERS-CoV situation is serious and of great concern, but does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at this time," the WHO said in a statement issued in Geneva.

 

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Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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