WHO expert advisers say MERS still of concern, international studies needed - InfoNews

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WHO expert advisers say MERS still of concern, international studies needed

An undated electron microscope image made availalbe by the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases shows novel coronavirus particles, also known as the MERS virus, colorized in yellow. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID - RML
December 04, 2013 - 11:09 AM

A panel of experts who advise the World Health Organization on MERS say the new virus is still cause for worry.

But in its fourth meeting on Middle East repiratory syndrome, the so-called emergency committee decided the outbreak as yet does not meet the criteria to be declared a public health emergency of international concern.

In its post-meeting statement, the committee stresses the need for more research, including an international case control study, work to figure out how the virus is passing from animals to people and blood studies designed to see how many infections have gone unnoticed.

Many MERS researchers and the WHO itself have been pleading for months to have the most badly affected country, Saudi Arabia, conduct these types of studies.

It remains unclear if the country is doing this type of research and if it is not, whether it will now undertake this work.

Dr. Theresa Tam, head of the Public Health Agency of Canada's health security infrastructure branch, is vice-chair of the emergency committee.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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