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Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update (United Arab Emirates)

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 07:15
On 10 July 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported 2 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

A 67-year-old man from Abu Dhabi, UAE who became ill on 17 June and was admitted to a hospital on the same day. On 2 July 2014, the patient was critically ill and was admitted to the intensive care unit in a hospital in Abu Dhabi. He was laboratory-confirmed with MERS-CoV infection on 6 July. The patient is reported to have underlying medical conditions. The patient owns a camel farm in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. He visited his farm 3 months prior to becoming ill and had direct contact with camels. Two weeks prior to becoming ill, he visited a camel farm in Abu Dhabi, where he did not have direct contact with camels. He does not have a history of contact with a previously laboratory-confirmed case with MERS-CoV infection and does not have a history of recent travel. Investigation of the camel farm in Abu Dhabi, and follow up of contacts of the patient are currently on-going.

WHO: People most at risk of HIV are not getting the health services they need

WHO News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 16:00
Failure to provide adequate HIV services for key groups – men who have sex with men, people in prison, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people – threatens global progress on the HIV response, warns WHO.

These people are most at risk of HIV infection yet are least likely to have access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services. In many countries they are left out of national HIV plans, and discriminatory laws and policies are major barriers to access.

Member States commit to reduce preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and lung disease

WHO News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 16:00
UN Member States have reaffirmed their commitment to take bold measures to reduce the avoidable burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). These ailments, including heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and lung disease kill 38 million people every year, many of them before they reach the age of 70. Most of these largely preventable deaths occur in developing countries, where this epidemic threatens to undermine social and economic development.

Member States, gathered for the second time in 3 years at the United Nations in New York to discuss this topic, pledged to intensify efforts to combat the growing menace of NCDs. They acknowledged that progress has been too slow and uneven since 2011, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Political Declaration and pledged to better protect the lives of their people.

WHO highlights need for countries to scale up action on noncommunicable diseases

WHO News - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 19:00
As world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly to assess efforts made since 2011 in controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, the new WHO "Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2014" show progress has been insufficient and uneven.

The report provides an updated overview of the NCD situation including recent trends and government responses in 194 countries. It reveals that:

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 17:00
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In Guinea, the current epidemic trend shows low activity of community viral transmission, with only 1 confirmed EVD case reported in the last 7 days. This trend is being closely monitored, particularly in communities that had resistance to recommended outbreak control measure. The epidemic trend in Liberia and Sierra Leone remains precarious with high numbers of new cases and deaths being reported. The current active foci of the EVD outbreak have been identified as Kailahun and Kenema in Sierra Leone and Lofa and Montserrado in Liberia. The respective Ministries of Health are working with WHO and its partners to step up containment measures.

As part of the effort to control this outbreak, Dr Keiji Fukuda, the Assistant Director-General for WHO’s Health Security cluster and Dr Benido Impouma, the Sub-regional Coordinator for the outbreak response visited Sierra Leone and Guinea from 7–10 July 2014. The WHO’s delegation engaged and had dialogue with high-level political and Government authorities aimed to enhance national leadership and commitment. The delegation also held discussions with the national coordination structures for EVD outbreak response, including partners, in order to strengthen coordination, communication, and inter-sectoral collaboration.

WHO Director-General addresses high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases

WHO Director-General Speeches - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 16:15
Excellencies, honourable ministers, distinguished delegates, representatives of civil society organizations, ladies and gentlemen,

The 2011 political declaration on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases was a watershed event. Heads of state and government formally recognized these diseases as a major threat to health, economies, and societies and placed them high on the development agenda.

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 17:00
WHO continues to monitor the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The current epidemic trend shows a mixed picture, as follows:

WHO continues to encourage and support outbreak containment measures in the three countries.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 00:15
On 30 June and 1 July 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for Saudi Arabia reported an additional 3 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and a death in a previously reported case.

A 15-year-old boy from Riyadh City, Riyadh Region who became ill on 26 June. He visited a hospital where samples were collected for laboratory test on 28 June. Following laboratory-confirmation with MERS-CoV infection on 30 June, the patient was called back and admitted at the hospital. He is currently in a stable condition. The patient had a recent history of travel to Mecca City, Mecca Region. He had no history of contact with a previously laboratory-confirmed case with MERS-CoV. The patient had no history of contact with animals or history of consumption of camel products in the last 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.

WHO assessment of China’s national drug regulatory authority for vaccines

WHO Director-General Speeches - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 16:15
Minister Zhang Yong, colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin by extending my warm congratulations for a job well done. I have just announced that the China Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory system for vaccines has been assessed by WHO with outstanding results.

WHO targets elimination of TB in over 30 countries

WHO News - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 14:00
WHO today, together with the European Respiratory Society (ERS), presented a new framework to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in countries with low levels of the disease. Today there are 33* countries and territories where there are fewer than 100 TB cases per million population.

The framework outlines an initial “pre-elimination” phase, aiming to have fewer than 10 new TB cases per million people per year by 2035 in these countries. The goal is to then achieve full elimination of TB by 2050, defined as less than 1 case per million people per year.

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 07:00
The evolution of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia remains a serious concern as primary and secondary viral transmissions continue to occur in both urban and rural communities. Analyses of the current trend and the potential risk factors for the continuing spread of this epidemic have been conducted. The major factors responsible for continuous propagation of EVD outbreak in the sub-region include:

1. Some negative cultural practices and traditional beliefs, resulting into mistrust, apprehension and resistance to adopt recommended public health preventive measures. The implication of this include poor health care seeking behaviour such as hiding of EVD patients, home-based management of EVD patients, and customary treatment of dead bodies. These are very high risk practices leading to extensive exposures to Ebola virus in the community. Consequently, community deaths continue to be reported. In addition, the potential contacts to the EVD patients managed at home and exposures during customary burial procedures are not systematically identified and put under observation (very critical measures for containment of community transmission of Ebola virus). This is therefore a major factor amplifying the outbreak.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 00:15
On 22 June 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for the Islamic Republic of Iran reported to WHO an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. On 25 and 27 June 2014, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported the diagnosis of an additional 3 cases of MERS-CoV infection.

The patient is a 44-year-old male, national, health-care worker (HCW) resident of Kerman province located in southeast Iran. He developed mild symptoms of an influenza-like illness on 6 June 2014. His condition deteriorated as he developed dyspnea and was admitted to hospital on 17 June 2014. Specimens were collected on 17 June 2014 and initially tested negative for MERS-CoV on 18 June 2014. His condition continued to deteriorate and he was transferred to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on 19 June 2014. Additional specimens were collected that day and tested positive for MERS-CoV on 20 June 2014.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 17:03
On 22-23 and 25 April 2014, Taipei Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 2 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9). These are the third and fourth cases with infection of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus reported from Taipei CDC.

The patient reported on 22 April is a 44-year-old woman from Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, who travelled to Taipei with a 33-member tourist group. She was ill on 12 April and had been to a local hospital in Nanjing. The patient had an underlying medical condition. Despite general weakness and poor appetite, she travelled to Taipei with the group on 17 April. She was admitted to hospital in Taipei on 19 April and subsequently transferred to a medical center on 20 April. She was laboratory confirmed on 22 April.

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:00
Based on epidemiological analysis conducted by WHO, three major factors are contributing to patterns of transmission, which are currently responsible for the continuous propagation of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the sub-region. These factors include transmission of EVD in rural communities, facilitated by strong cultural practices and traditional beliefs; transmission of EVD in densely populated peri-urban areas of Conakry in Guinea and Monrovia in Liberia; and cross-border transmission of EVD along the border areas of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where commercial and social activities continue among the border areas of these countries.

Containment of this outbreak requires a strong response in the countries and especially along their shared border areas. As one of the response elements, WHO is organizing a high-level meeting for the Ministers of Health in the sub-region scheduled for 2–3 July 2014 in Accra, Ghana. The meeting will bring together Ministers of Health and the Directors of disease prevention and control from 11 African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda), as well as partners, Ebola survivors, representatives of airlines and mining companies, and the donor communities. The objective of the meeting is to analyse the situation, identify gaps, develop operational response plans, and to ensure increased political commitment and enhanced cross-border collaboration for EVD response activities among the countries in the sub-region.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 17:03
On 22-23 and 25 April 2014, Taipei Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 2 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9). These are the third and fourth cases with infection of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus reported from Taipei CDC.

1. Epidemiological investigation, tracing of close contacts, medical observation.

Graça Machel Ends Period of Mourning

WHO Maternal, Newborn & Child Health - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 16:29
After six months of retreat, mourning the death of President Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, Mrs Graça Machel will now return to her active role as a global advocate for women’s and children’s rights.

“In December 2013, Madiba passed on and South Africa lost its father of democracy and leader, and the world lost an internationally respected icon. I lost my best friend, beloved husband, and guide. I have been deeply touched and comforted by the affection shown towards my family and I since Madiba’s illness through to the present moment. I would like to thank our family, friends, and the people throughout the world who gave me love and support during these difficult times.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 00:15
On 19, 20, 22 and 23 June 2014, National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 4 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Investigation and follow up of contacts of the laboratory-confirmed cases are ongoing.

Ebola challenges West African countries as WHO ramps up response

WHO Emergencies and Disasters - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 16:01
The emergence of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa in 2014 has become a challenge to the 3 countries involved, as the Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone work intensively with WHO and other partners to ramp up a series of measures to control the outbreak.

Since March 2014, more than 600 cases of Ebola and over 390 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. While the number of suspected, probable and confirmed cases and deaths changes rapidly, the outbreak is causing concern among health authorities because the deadly disease is being transmitted in communities and in health-care settings, and it has appeared in cities as well as rural and border areas. The disease, which causes severe haemorrhaging and can kill up to 90% of those infected, is spread by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected animals or people.

Ebola challenges West African countries as WHO ramps up response

WHO News - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 16:01
The emergence of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa in 2014 has become a challenge to the 3 countries involved, as the Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone work intensively with WHO and other partners to ramp up a series of measures to control the outbreak.

Since March 2014, more than 600 cases of Ebola and over 390 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. While the number of suspected, probable and confirmed cases and deaths changes rapidly, the outbreak is causing concern among health authorities because the deadly disease is being transmitted in communities and in health-care settings, and it has appeared in cities as well as rural and border areas. The disease, which causes severe haemorrhaging and can kill up to 90% of those infected, is spread by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected animals or people.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

WHO Disease Outbreak News - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 07:01
On 3 June 2014, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 113 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), including 34 deaths. These cases and deaths were identified through retrospective review of hospital records, dating between 5 May 2013 and 6 May 2014.

The majority of the cases (84) occurred after 1 March 2014; and the rest of cases (29) occurred between 5 May 2013 and 28 February 2014.

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