World Health Organisation

WHO won't block haj visits to Saudi Arabia over Mers

Keiji Fukuda of the WHO.

The World Health Organisation says the Mers virus striking Saudi Arabia is not a "public health emergency of international concern", and is not seeking travel restrictions as the kingdom braces for the Muslim haj pilgrimage.

Friday, 19 July, 2013, 2:58am

Saudi death toll from new Sars-related virus reaches 18

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry says a woman has died from a new respiratory virus related to Sars, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 18.

Saudi Arabia remains the centre for the virus as investigators from the World Health Organisation seek more clues about its origins and how it is spread.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

WHO says patents are obstructing moves to fight Sars-like virus

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan attends a meeting on the Sars-like virus coronavirus in Geneva. Photo: AFP

International efforts to combat a new Sars-like virus that has killed 22 people are being slowed by the fact that a Dutch laboratory has patented copies of the pathogen in its search for potentially profitable rights to disease samples, the head of the World Health Organisation has warned.

25 May 2013 - 4:20am

Coronavirus sparks fears of wider human transmission

A man, wearing a surgical mask as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus, walks near a hospital in Khobar city in Dammam. Photo: Reuters

The World Health Organisation voiced deep concern yesterday over the Sars-like virus that has killed 22 people in less than a year, saying it might potentially spread more widely between humans.

24 May 2013 - 4:26am

World not ready for mass flu outbreak, says WHO

WHO deputy chief Keiji Fukuda. Photo: AFP

The world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak, the deputy chief of the World Health Organisation warned on Tuesday, amid fears that H7N9 bird flu striking China could morph into a form that spreads easily among people.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

No new H7N9 cases in China for a week

WHO head Margaret Chan urged caution on Monday at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. “Influenza viruses constantly reinvent themselves. No one can predict the future course of this outbreak," she said. Photo: AP

No new human cases of the H7N9 virus have been recorded in China for a week, national health authorities said, for the first time since the outbreak began in March.

One previously infected patient died in the week beginning between May 13, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a statement late on Monday, taking the total number of fatalities from the virus to 36.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

France fears more cases of deadly Sars-like virus

Douai hospital, northern France. Photo: Reuters

French health authorities said on Thursday they feared the country’s first case of a new Sars-like virus that has killed 18 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia, may have infected two other people.

11 May 2013 - 4:05am

Sars-like virus kills two more in Saudi Arabia

A view of Al-Mamlaka hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Seven Saudis have died of a new Sars-like virus in one week, the health ministry said. Photo: AFP

A new Sars-like virus has killed two more people in Saudi Arabia, taking the number of deaths from the coronavirus that the kingdom has announced to seven in one week, the health ministry said.

6 May 2013 - 11:41pm

Sars-like virus kills five Saudis

The novel coronavirus or hCoV-EMC was first detected last year and is a cousin of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Photo: AP

Five Saudis have died of a new Sars-like virus during the past few days and two more are being treated in an intensive care unit, the health ministry said.

In a statement cited by the Saudi SPA agency late on Wednesday, the ministry said that all the deaths occurred in the Ahsaa province in the oil-rich eastern region of the kingdom.

2 May 2013 - 2:43pm

China reports another H7N9 death as WHO calls flu 'one of the most lethal'

A Chinese tourist wears a face mask at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The H7N9 strain has killed 25 people in China. Photo: AFP

The death toll from the H7N9 bird flu virus has risen to 27, state media said yesterday after a man died in Hunan province.

Neighbouring Guangdong will start cleaning up its poultry markets today. Deputy governor Lin Shaochun said yesterday that the provincial government might make some contingency public health measures permanent in prevention of bird flu diseases, Xinhua reported.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

40pc of bird flu victims haven't touched poultry

Doctors at the Beijing Centre of Disease Control carry out tests for the deadly H7N9 strain of bird flu. Photo: AFP

A top mainland scientist said 40 per cent of the people who have tested positive for the new, deadly strain of bird flu had no recent contact with poultry, and so it is still unclear how they contracted the virus.

18 Apr 2013 - 8:10am 1 comment

China media urge eating poultry despite bird flu

Poultry is displayed at a market stall in Hefei, in central China's Anhui province. Photo: AFP

China’s poultry industry lost 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in the week after the H7N9 bird flu virus began infecting humans, state-run media said on Monday as they sought to discourage panic.

Altogether 60 people have been confirmed as infected and 13 have died in the two weeks since Chinese authorities said they found the strain in humans for the first time.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

China bird flu not spreading between people, says WHO

Michael O’Leary, the WHO’s representative in China, holds a news conference in Beijing on Monday. Photo: AP

There is no proof that the H7N9 bird flu virus is being transmitted between people in China, the World Health Organisation said on Monday, despite several members of a family falling ill in Shanghai.

China announced just over a week ago that the virus had been found in humans for the first time, and the number of confirmed cases has since risen to 21, with six deaths.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Beijing needs to give world full picture of bird flu outbreak

Doctors and nurses attend a training course for treatment of H7N9 virus at a hospital in Hangzhou. Photo: Reuters

One of the most important lessons of the 2002-03 Sars outbreak was that more openness from mainland officials would have helped combat the epidemic. There is evidence it has been remembered - though perhaps belatedly - in the release of information about the current deadly outbreak of H7N9 avian flu. 

7 Apr 2013 - 1:42am

WHO will help set Hong Kong’s air quality goals

Wong Kam-sing. Photo: Sam Tsang

World Health Organisation experts will help set Hong Kong's air quality objectives, according to a schedule to be released by the Environment Bureau today, a source close to the government says.

28 Mar 2013 - 5:41am