Plagues and Pestilences


Deadly Virus Surges Through Arab Gulf


April 15, 2014Voice of America News reports: “Saudi Arabia says a deadly virus is rippling through the kingdom as additional cases were reported over the weekend in the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have been seen at two major hospitals in the port city of Jeddah.

Saudi health authorities are embarking on a variety of measures to prevent further spread of the 18-month-long outbreak.

‘We have detected 11 cases of (the virus) in Jeddah,’ said Dr. Abdul Salam Noorwali, director-general of health in the Makkah region said last week. ‘Two of the patients have died, while six others have been cured and three cases are under medication,’ he said.

Three of the patients in Jeddah were health workers, including one of the two who died, prompting authorities to temporarily shut down the emergency ward at the city’s King Fahd Hospital…” (The next three headlines inform believers that Christ’s return is near – even at the door — Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11; and Revelation 6:7, 8.)


U.S. Confirms First MERS Case


May 4, 2014Voice of America News reports: “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has confirmed the first case of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Virus, or MERS, within the United States.

CDC officials Friday said an American health care worker who recently traveled to Saudi Arabia has been hospitalized with the virus in the Midwestern state of Indiana. They say the patient has been isolated and is in stable condition.

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director Anne Schuchat said the case is rapidly evolving, and that the CDC is working to identify people who may have been in contact with the patient. Schuchat said the patient traveled from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 24 to London, and then on to Indiana.

The MERS virus first appeared in September 2012, and all of the cases have been linked to six countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia has seen the most cases…”


Epidemics loom as antibiotics increasingly fail


May 2, 2014Haaretz reports: “The world is on course for a future of uncontrollable epidemics, according to an explosive new report released this week by the World Health Organization.

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics has led to the evolution of superbugs that can withstand even the most powerful antibiotics, the WHO said in the report. That is not a prediction, but is happening right now, the organization said.

‘The world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,’ said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security.

Antibiotic resistance has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country, the report said. It is now a major threat to public health and ‘the implications will be devastating’.

In its first global report on antibiotic resistance, with data from 114 countries, the WHO said superbugs able to evade event the hardest-hitting antibiotics – a class of drugs called carbapenems – have now been found in all regions of the world…”