News / Health

Deadly Virus Surges Through Gulf States

FILE - In this June 8, 2011 file photo, a Yemeni manas he leads his camel loaded with his belongings in Taiz, Yemen. Scientists say the mysterious MERS virus has been infecting camels in Saudi Arabia.
FILE - In this June 8, 2011 file photo, a Yemeni manas he leads his camel loaded with his belongings in Taiz, Yemen. Scientists say the mysterious MERS virus has been infecting camels in Saudi Arabia.
Mohamed Elshinnawi
Saudi Arabia says a deadly virus is rippling through the kingdom as additional cases were reported over the weekend in the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have been seen at two major hospitals in the port city of Jeddah.

Saudi health authorities are embarking on a variety of measures to prevent further spread of the 18-month-long outbreak.

“We have detected 11 cases of (the virus) in Jeddah,” said Dr. Abdul Salam Noorwali, director-general of health in the Makkah region, told Arab News last week. “Two of the patients have died, while six others have been cured and three cases are under medication,” he said.​

Three of the patients in Jeddah were health workers, including one of the two who died, prompting authorities to temporarily shut down the emergency ward at the city's King Fahd Hospital, the kingdom's English-language daily reported.

MERS, by demographicMERS, by demographic
x
MERS, by demographic
MERS, by demographic
Sami BaDawood, Jeddah’s health affairs director, told Arab News that the emergency department was closed for disinfection after one health worker there tested positive for the virus and subsequent tests on other staff members showed further infections.

Some patients were transferred to other hospitals while the disinfection was carried out, he said.

The latest figures bring to at least 179 the number of cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia since the virus first appeared in the kingdom in September 2012.

Makkah Governor Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah met with the director-general of health and urged precautionary measures to combat the disease at hospitals and other health facilities, Arab News reported.

“We have to adopt health measures to ensure the safety of citizens and residents from the virus and educate the public on how to protect themselves from MERS,” the English daily quoted him as telling health officials in the region.

Most people infected with MERS develop severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

The World Health Organization said at the end of March there were 206 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 86 had been fatal.
In April, WHO says, 15 more cases were confirmed in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

"Basically what MERS does at the end of the day is shutting down the lungs and cause the other organs to fail," Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesperson in Geneva told VOA. 

"It is spreads from person to person with great difficulty and that is how it is different from SARS," Hartl said. "What we really need doctors to do if they see unusual respiratory illness comes to them in other parts of the world is to be aware that MERS has occurred and they should test for that virus."

Experts are still struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no known vaccine.
 
MERS infections, laboratory-confirmedMERS infections, laboratory-confirmed
x
MERS infections, laboratory-confirmed
MERS infections, laboratory-confirmed
“We don’t know for certain where the virus came from,” said Jason McDonald, spokesperson for U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC). “However, it likely came from an animal source.”

MERS has been found in camels in Qatar and a bat in Saudi Arabia.

Camels in a few neighboring countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS, indicating they were previously infected with MERS or a closely related virus.

More information is needed to identify the possible role that camels, bats, and other animals may play in the transmission of MERS.

That is why the CDC is closely monitoring the MERS situation and working with World Health Organization and other partners to understand the risks of this virus. 
The CDC says it recognizes the potential for the virus to spread further and cause more cases and clusters globally, including in the United States.

“As part of routine public health preparedness in the United States, CDC is providing MERS testing kits to state health departments across the U.S. and continues to provide advice and laboratory diagnostic support to countries in the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region.” McDonald said.

According to CDC, cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Tunisia as well as in several countries in Europe.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr.Ralph Dirtybottom from: Memphis
April 16, 2014 10:47 AM
Have you noticed increased cases of Alzheimer’s and Autism? The CDC recently admitted that autism numbers have doubled in a decade and more than 5 million Americans have a form of dementia. While there are multiple contributors to these phenomenon, including the increased use of pesticides and herbicides, the decline of real food, and the degradation of our environment as a whole, it is likely chemtrails play a significant part in the cognitive decline of our nation as well. Our politicians, however, refuse to comment on the subject, with the exception of a rogue informant often put swiftly back into his place by mainstream media and their puppeteers. Now, an Italian senator is demanding that important state secrets be declassified so that the world can understand what is really happening in the sky above.

Senator Domenico Scilipoti is not a champion for every Italian, often accused of taking party sides wherever it will benefit him personally, but he is aiming to abolish the classification of documents regarding the death of Ilaria Alpi, an Italian journalist killed in 1994 after she discovered radioactive toxic waste was being shipped to Somalia. There is a free documentary people can watch here, but it is not allowed in the US. Quite some censorship. Why?


by: David from: USA
April 15, 2014 2:32 PM
Maybe it can be stopped... http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/vaccine_development/325407-novavax-creates-mers-cov-vaccine-candidate/


by: ARZ
April 14, 2014 7:17 PM
Please edit the title: 'Persian Gulf' is correct. It has been called 'Persian Gulf' for thousands of years.


by: David Josef from: USA
April 14, 2014 7:05 PM
Where is Arab Gulf? Does it exist on the map or you did a mistake?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid