The single biggest worldwide public health threat!
A mystery disease centered in Saudi Arabia (at this time) is giving world health officials something to be frightened about. With a 60% mortality rate and no clues yet about what causes it, doctors, researchers and other health experts from many countries convened in Cairo to make plans for the largest movement of people each year in that part of the world (besides refugees flowing from country to country), the Hajj.
From the UK Telegraph (Hat tip: Always on Watch):
Health experts have started an emergency international meeting to devise ways of combating a mysterious virus that has been described as the single biggest worldwide public health threat after claiming 38 lives, mostly in Saudi Arabia.
Amid fears of a new pandemic more deadly than Sars, 80 officials and doctors, including two from Britain, gathered in Cairo yesterday to examine ways of tackling Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, dubbed MERS.
The coronavirus is casting a shadow over the annual Muslim pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, where four new deaths were announced on Monday.
The three-day meeting called by the World Health Organisation will look at developing guidelines for Ramadan. In October, more than two million people are expected to attend the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Cases have also been found in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Jordan. Most were patients transferred home from the Middle East for treatment or people who had travelled to the region and became ill after they returned.
Dr Jon Bible, a clinical scientist, who treated one of the three British cases last year, said: “You don’t want to have this.”
I’ve said this before, but if the general public in the West doesn’t scare easily about terrorism entering the US with the immigrant population, diseases will eventually get their attention (scare them to death). We have 157 previous posts in our ‘health issues’ category.
See also our earlier post on MERS.