The World Health Organization's (WHO) Emergency Committee recently met with the director-general under the International Health Regulations 2005 to discuss the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) at the EC’s ninth meeting Tuesday.
The committee received an update from the secretariat of the WHO about the scientific and epidemiological developments of the outbreak. Details included related risk assessments, prevention and control measures, and transmission patterns of recent cases in South Korea and China. These nations offered assessments and updates about their current MERS-CoV situations and developments within their borders.
All of the attending advisers and members of the committee, most of whom had participated in the Korea-WHO MERS Joint Mission that took place recently, were asked to exchange their observations and experiences in order to contain and eliminate the outbreak.
The committee determined that the outbreak is spreading due to suboptimal infection control and prevention in hospitals, lack of awareness among the general public as well as health care workers, and the close and lengthy contact of patients with MERS in crowded emergency rooms and multibed rooms in hospitals, among other reasons.