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Mers cases in decline, but vigilance urged for haj: WHO

Published on Jun 17, 2014 8:06 PM
 
A man wearing a mask walks outside Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz hospital, in Riyadh on June 6, 2014. A surge in cases of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) virus has receded, but countries must maintain vigilance for the Muslim pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (AFP) - A surge in cases of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) virus has receded, but countries must maintain vigilance for the Muslim pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, the country worst hit by the disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

"The upsurge in cases that began in April has now decreased and there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission in communities," it said in a statement.

However, "the situation continues to be of concern, especially given the anticipated increase in travel to Saudi Arabia related to Umrah, Ramadan and the Hajj", the United Nations health agency said.

The communique was issued after a teleconference of health officials from seven countries where there have been cases of Mers. They were Algeria, Iran, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

 
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