Mers unlikely to spread in Asia: WHO expert
Published on Jul 10, 2014 3:12 PM
MANILA (AFP) - Asian countries should keep their guard against the deadly Middle East respiratory virus, although it is unlikely to spread to the region, a World Health Organization expert said on Thursday.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) appears to be less infectious than originally thought even though it has already killed 287 people, said Mark Jacobs, WHO's director for communicable diseases in the Western Pacific. The relatives of those infected have not been showing any signs of catching it, he added.
His comments come after the Philippines last week urged its large Muslim minority to reconsider plants to join the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which takes place in Saudi Arabia, until the threat from the virus has dissipated.
But Jacobs said the virus posed little regional threat. "A spread in our part of the world is small," Jacobs told reporters. "If the virus stays unchanged, then I think that what we have been seeing is what we will keep seeing."
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