As the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to hesitate in declaring MERS a global public health emergency, the deadly disease has killed its first patient in North Africa. Irish Independent reported that the 66-year-old MERS victim died in western Algeria on Monday.
Last month, WHO called MERS a serious infection but not a global health emergency despite the infection’s potential to create epidemics worldwide – it already has reached five continents now and since it was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, the disease has struck well over 600 people, about of which have died, mostly in Saudi Arabia.
It is surprising as well as alarming that WHO would not take serious measures to check the spread of this disease while it imposed travel restrictions on Pakistanis, making vaccination mandatory for all travelers moving from Pakistan to be vaccinated, although polio predominantly affects children under five and vaccination does not ensure protection against the disease.
There is no vaccine for MERS so far.