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title: 'World Health OrganisationMiddle East virus Hajj pilgrimage' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:

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    The World Health Organisation and medical authorities in Saudi Arabia are working to control the outbreak of the MERS-CoV virus ahead of the Mecca Hajj Pilgrimage which brings millions of people to Mecca and Medina. VoR's Vivienne Nunis reports. Each year around 3.7 million pilgrims participate in the Hajj. The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has announced an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Four previously laboratory-confirmed cases have died. The WHO says the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has not been previously identified in humans. There is very limited information on transmission, severity and clinical impact with only a small number of cases reported thus far. Affected countries in the Middle East include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar. Cases have also been reported by four countries in Europe, France, Germany, the United Kingdom (UK) and Italy, and by one country in North Africa, Tunisia. All of the European and North African cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East. Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 64 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 38 deaths. Since September 2012, more than 50 cases of MERS-CoV have been identified globally. Approximately half of these people died. HO and in Saudi Arabia are racing to control the outbreak of the MERS-CoV virus ahead of the Mecca Hajj Pilgrimage which brings millions of people to islamís holiest cities Mecca and Medina. The UK Foreign office said there are no travel restrictions to the Middle East and the risk to travellers remains very low. (Voice of Russia, WHO, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

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