MERS coronavirus not health emergency, WHO panel says
Jul 17, 2013
The Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome virus that has sickened 84 people since last September isn't a public health emergency, a panel of experts advising the World Health Organization says.
The UN health agency's panel of international experts looking into Middle East coronavirus met by teleconference on Wednesday to offer technical advice such as on travel issues.
Since the MERS coronavirus was first identified in June 2012, 84 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported. Since the MERS coronavirus was first identified in June 2012, 84 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported. (U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Canadian Press)
"Based on these views and the currently available information, the (WHO) Director-General (Margaret Chan) accepted the committee's assessment that the current MERS-CoV situation is serious and of great concern, but does not constitute a public health emergency of international concern at this time," the WHO said in a statement from Geneva.
The source of the virus is also unknown. It's hoped that if the source can be determined, then it might help contain the outbreak.................................continued