WHO: “Mers does not yet represent a global public health emergency”

CENEVRE (CIHAN)- The World Health Organization(WHO) said on Wednesday (14 May) that the deadly MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus) has “increased in seriousness” but does not yet represent a global public health emergency.

The WHO’s Emergency Committee was convened by teleconference yesterday (May 13) for the fifth time to discus the MERS.

There is no evidence of community infection, as in case with seasonal influenza, said WHO’s Assistant Director-General, Dr Keiji Fukuda. MERS however has a potential to cause a large threat.

The WHO recommended several actions to be taken to prevent further spreading, like strengthening infection prevention and control especially in countries with active infections, as well as urgent studies into relationship between infection in animals and infections in people.

The MERS is caused by a coronavirus MERS-CoV. It symptoms are coughing, fever, shortness of breath and in some cases fatal pneumonia.

It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 infecting so far more than 500 people. The virus has spread to neighboring countries and in a few cases, to Europe and Asia. There are two confirmed cases in United States as well. The virus kills about 30 percent of those infected.