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World Health Organization
WHO news
This channel provides the five most recent WHO news articles.



WHO statement on the Seventh Meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding MERS-CoV (Oct 1)
The seventh meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) regarding the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was conducted with members and advisors of the Emergency Committee through electronic correspondence from 26 September 2014 through 30 September 2014.1

The WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of epidemiological and scientific developments, including a description of recently reported cases and transmission patterns. Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia provided an update on and assessment of MERS-CoV, including progress towards implementation of the Emergency Committee’s temporary recommendations. 2


Experimental Ebola vaccines (Oct 1)
From 29–30 September, WHO organized an expert consultation to assess the status of work to test and eventually license two candidate Ebola vaccines. More than 70 experts, including many from affected and neighbouring countries in West Africa, attended the event.

The expertise represented among participants ranged from the virology of emerging infections, to regulatory requirements that must be met, to medical ethics, public health, and infectious diseases. Heads of clinical research and other executives from the pharmaceutical industry also presented their views.


Statement regarding interim findings of WHO assessment of deaths of children in Idleb Governorate, Syria (Sep 27)
A WHO assessment of the cause of the death of 15 children in rural Idleb, northern Syria has concluded that the most likely cause of the event was the incorrect use of a drug called Atracurium as a diluent for Measles/Rubella vaccine.

There is no evidence that the Measles/Rubella vaccine itself or its correct diluent were the cause of this tragic event.


Experimental therapies: growing interest in the use of whole blood or plasma from recovered Ebola patients (convalescent therapies) (Sep 26)
Ebola virus disease currently has no vaccines or medicines approved by national regulatory authorities for use in humans save for the purpose of compassionate care.

To date, the virus has infected 6242 people and killed 2909 of them. These figures, which are far greater than those from all previous Ebola outbreaks combined, are known by WHO to vastly underestimate the true scale of the epidemic.


World Heart Day 2014: salt reduction saves lives (Sep 25)
On World Heart Day, held 29 September, WHO is calling on countries to take action on the overuse of salt by implementing WHO’s sodium reduction recommendations to cut the number of people experiencing heart disease and stroke, and, in turn, save lives.

Noncommunicable diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the leading causes of premature death in the 21st century. WHO is supporting governments to implement the "Global action plan to reduce noncommunicable diseases" that comprises nine global targets, including one to reduce global salt intake by a relative 30% by 2025.
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