Novel Coronavirus – Saudi Arabia (MERS)

WHO has been informed of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Qatar.

US Disease Outbreaks Linked to Vaccine-Shy Parents

The number of Americans requesting exemptions for vaccinations is continuing to rise, a 2012 study found. The current measles outbreak connected to Eagle Mountain International Church case in Newark, Texas, is a perfect example of how diseases that can be controlled through vaccinations are making comebacks in pockets, experts said. Before the outbreak, ministers had encouraged members to question vaccinations; they’ve changed their tune now that 21 people, including a 4-month-old baby, are sick.

Vaccination rates vary throughout the United States, in part because each state has its own requirements for exemption. Outbreaks usually occur where there are clusters of unvaccinated people, Emory University vaccine expert Saad Omer said. So even if an overall vaccination rate is high (in the Texas county home to the megachurch, for example, the overall rate is about 98 percent), a disease can spread quickly throughout a close community such as a school or church with a pocket of unvaccinated people.

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