The Tyee has published my article MERS and H7N9: A Tale of Two Outbreaks. Excerpt:
Last June, I wrote about the outbreaks of H7N9 avian flu and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and what they told us about the politics of healthcare in China and the Gulf states -- especially Saudi Arabia. China, having lost face by suppressing news of the SARS outbreak in 2003-04, was now being much more open; Saudi Arabia, by contrast, was revealing as little as possible.
Since then, H7N9 cases dropped off sharply over the summer and rose again in the fall. Meanwhile, MERS cases have continued, most of them in Saudi Arabia but with a few in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
According to the Reporters Without Borders press freedom report for 2013, China ranks 173rd in the world, just below Vietnam and only five ranks above North Korea. Saudi Arabia ranks 163rd in the world in press freedom in 2013 (down 5 ranks from 2012). Nevertheless, China has dutifully reported its H7N9 cases in some detail, while the Saudis and their Gulf neighbours say almost nothing.