New fight launched against deadly MERS virus

High powered medical body is formed to try to curbs deaths; Saudi Arabia is worst hit nation

A high-powered medical body has been tasked with trying to combat the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus as authorities work to stem the outbreak.

According to the latest World Health Organisation figures, 94 laboratory-confirmed and 16 probable cases of MERS-CoV have been reported to WHO since April 2012.

Of those, 47, or half of the reported cases, have resulted in deaths.

Affected countries in the Middle East include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar.

In Europe countries affected include France, Germany, the UK and Italy, while in Tunisia in North Africa has also been affected.

Following a meeting in Saudi, the newly-established Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine has been assigned to monitor the developments related to MERS-coronavirus, the Saudi Gazette reports.

It is one of several recommendations made on Tuesday by the 2nd International Mass Gathering Medicine Conference in Riyadh.

The conference was organised by the Saudi Ministry of Health in collaboration with Arab League and WHO and attended by about 500 health representatives.

The resolution by the conference said: “Monitoring will include following the latest developments, related international studies and research, developing preventive measures against MERS, and setting up treatment protocols to benefit from all these in dealing with the disease in Haj, Umrah, and other mass gatherings anywhere in the world.”

The conference also recommended cooperation and coordination between GCMGM and other global centres for disease prevention, control, and research for early detection and action against any new emerging disease or outbreaks.

It emphasised the necessity to exchange information and experience regarding diseases, especially communicable ones, among governments, international organisations, and research centres.

The latest WHO update, published on August 13, said two cases were reported in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia with both showing previous contact with a confirmed case.

In a second cluster, an 83-year-old UAE resident died after being hospitalised in Abu Dhabi in July.

“Although infection prevention and control measures were reported to be in place and the patient was isolated, four secondary cases were reported in health care workers with exposure to the patient,” WHO said.

“Two of them developed a mild disease and the other two remained asymptomatic.”

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
GCC's healthcare prognosis is looking good

GCC's healthcare prognosis is looking good

If there is one sector in the GCC with a robust prognosis it...

Is this the right prescription for Saudi Arabia?

Is this the right prescription for Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is expanding its healthcare industry on the back...

Revealed: Diagnosis for keeping the Gulf healthy

Revealed: Diagnosis for keeping the Gulf healthy

Gulf states have largely footed the bill for healthcare for decades...

Most Discussed
  • 9
    Revealed: huge disparity in Dubai school fees

    I recall a recent study by Alpen Capital suggesting that the average cost of a child's entire life of schooling in Dubai is about AED 1 million. Although... more

    Monday, 29 May 2017 9:21 AM - New Expat
  • 3
    How Saudi Arabia blundered into OPEC oil cut

    Well written piece. Clearly the pressure on OPEC countries holding to their quotas will become even harder. Nigeria etc. are desperate to pump & sell a... more

    Monday, 29 May 2017 9:18 AM - Victory Red