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UN experts advise of ‘critical believe gaps’ on Saudi MERS virus


LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has not finished adequate to examine and control a lethal new MERS pathogen that has killed hundreds of people there and stays in many ways a mystery, United Nations health experts pronounced on Monday.

Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are surging again, though Saudi health officials and scientists seem incompetent to explain where a infections start and how they spread, a UN experts said.

The UN organisation – a general commission of scientists and open health experts from World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health – visited Saudi Arabia final week to examine a pointy arise in MERS cases.

MERS causes coughing, heat and respirating problems, and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

“Critical gaps in believe remain, and several hurdles … will need serve work,” it pronounced in a corner statement. “How and because infections start in a village is nonetheless to be understood, and this is vicious for interlude a outbreak.”

Initial systematic studies have related MERS to camels, though illness experts contend it is not during all transparent how a infection passes from a animals. Many people putrescent in a village and in hospitals news no hit with camels, they note.

“There are so many aspects of a pathogen that are still unknown,” pronounced Berhe Tekola, executive of a FAO’s animal prolongation and health division.

First identified in humans in 2012, MERS is caused by a coronavirus, from a same family as a one that caused a lethal conflict of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in China in 2003. There is no heal or vaccine.

The WHO, that has uttered regard about MERS and a intensity to widespread internationally, says 1,026 reliable cases – including during slightest 376 deaths – have been reported given MERS emerged in 2012. Some 85 percent have been in Saudi Arabia.

Keiji Fukuda, a WHO pathogen consultant who led this mission, pronounced that notwithstanding swell in fighting MERS in hospitals, pivotal infection impediment and control measures are still breached.

“When health workers are putrescent during work, this puts other medical workers during risk, though also can be a risk to all other patients,” he said.

“Understanding where a crack in these measures is occurring and holding a stairs indispensable to entirely exercise infection impediment and control measures can put an finish to these … infections.”

(Editing by Tom Heneghan)

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/23/us-health-saudi-mers-idUSKBN0LR16D20150223

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