Middle Eastern virus, MERS 'threat to the entire world'
World Health Organization says that SARS-like virus has killed 24 people
A new SARS-like virus, dubbed MERS, according to the World Health Organizations, threatens the entire world. To date, the disease has killed 24 people, more than half of those diagnosed.
During a speech in Geneva, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, described the MERS virus as a "threat to the entire world."
Speaking at the global health monitor's annual conference, Dr. Margaret Chan did not mince words about the SARS-like novel coronavirus that researchers call MERS.
"Looking at the overall global situation, my greatest concern right now is the novel coronavirus. We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat. Any new disease that is emerging faster than our understanding is never under control," Dr Chan said.
"These are alarm bells and we must respond. The novel coronavirus is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself. The novel coronavirus is a threat to the entire world."
Health officials in France announced the death of a 65-year-old man who had apparently contracted the MERS virus after traveling to Dubai.
The WHO says that 24 of 44 confirmed MERS cases have ended in death.
In a move that might complicate finding a vaccine, Dutch scientists have taken the unusual step of patenting the killer virus.
Albert Osterhaus and Ron Fouchier, with the Erasmus Medical Center received a sample of the virus from a Saudi doctor who was stumped by the first known case. The virologists then patented it, infuriating the World Health Organization and Saudi officials, who say that doing so is impeding the search for treatment.
While the coronavirus causes the common cold, the novel conoavirus, or MERS, has killed more than half of those who have been diagnosed with it.
"Making deals between scientists because they want to take out IP and be the first to publish in scientific journals, we cannot allow that. No intellectual property should stand in the way of you protecting your people," Chan said during her speech.
The Dutch researchers deny that they had kept the virus from anyone. "We're still sharing this virus with everyone who wants to do public health research," Osterhaus told reporters.
Cases of MERS so far been confirmed in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Health News
- Malaria cases spread to higher elevations
- Alzheimer's to join cancer, heart disease as one of America's top fatal conditions
- Birthing centers not provided for under health care reform
- Lots of proteins can BE BAD FOR YOU! 'As bad for health as smoking,' new study finds
- OUTBREAK: 53 people in 10 states stricken with measles
- Popular overdose drug rises in cost, to keep up with demand
- ANCIENT SCOURGE: leprosy, still very much alive in the world today, goes back 10 million years
- CONTROVERSY: Is dyslexia a 'meaningless label' to excuse bad reading skills?
- Horrid polio-like disease stalking children in California, may be very widespread
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?