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Insights from the Front Lines of the MERS Outbreak
First identified close to a year ago, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has sickened nearly 100 people and killed more than half of those known to have been infected. Concerned about the similarities between MERS and the SARS coronavirus outbreak of 2003, health officials across the world have been following this outbreak closely since September 2012.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been the epicenter of the global MERS-CoV outbreak, and the man responsible for KSA's response to MERS has been Dr. Ziad Memish, Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, KSA.
On August 21, 2013, Dr. Memish joined Tom Inglesby to offer his frontline perspective on the outbreak in a discussion that touched on a wide range of topics, including the following:
Current status of the MERS-CoV oubreak
What has worked well in controlling disease spread
Major challenges that KSA and other affected countries have faced in responding to the outbreak
Practical challenges of sharing information about the outbreak with global partners.
The search for the source of the virus.