SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

WHO Emergency Committee holds sixth meeting on MERS-CoV

The World Health Organization held the sixth meeting of its Emergency Committee concerning Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) on Monday by teleconference.

The WHO secretariat updated those on the conference call, including representatives from seven countries that reported MERS-CoV infections since the fifth Emergency Committee meeting, on epidemiological and scientific developments, a description of recently reported cases, transmission patterns and the main observations of a recent WHO mission to the United Arab Emirates.

Representatives from affected countries gave updates on recent events during the teleconference, including measures taken to combat the outbreak and their concerns about the current situation.

Committee members were also joined by three expert advisors during the informational session of the meeting.

The Emergency Committee discussed the latest developments regarding MERS-CoV and noted that an upsurge of cases in April has decreased, with no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission. The Committee unanimously concluded that conditions did not represent a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Committee still urged countries to heed previous advice regarding MERS-CoV, including strengthening infection prevention and control measures, increase awareness of the virus with pilgrims observing Umra and Hajj, improving collaborations between animal and human health sectors and sharing all relevant information concerning the disease with the WHO.