MERS Outbreak Shows Weakness of Saudi Arabia’s Public Health System

Muslim pilgrims wear surgical masks to prevent infection from the respiratory virus known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May, 13, 2014 (AP photo by Hasan Jamali).
Muslim pilgrims wear surgical masks to prevent infection from the respiratory virus known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May, 13, 2014 (AP photo by Hasan Jamali).
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Last month, scientists discovered that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), so far responsible for just under 300 deaths in Saudi Arabia, may spread through the air. In an email interview, Jeremy Youde, associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota Duluth, discussed Saudi Arabia’s public health system and its response to the MERS outbreak. WPR: What is the current status of the MERS outbreak, both in Saudi Arabia and in the Gulf region more generally? Jeremy Youde: WHO has identified 837 cases of MERS and at least 291 deaths. More than 80 percent of the cases are […]

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