TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

WHO Emergency Committee discusses MERS-CoV outbreak

Courtesy of wikipedia.org
The World Health Organization's (WHO) Emergency Committee met last week to discuss the current outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome 1 (MERS-CoV). 

During the meeting, which was held by teleconference, the WHO Secretariat provided an update about the scientific developments, epidemiological developments, and further details about the latest cases and transmission patterns in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Officials from Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, the UAE, Jordan and Saudi Arabia also provided updates on outbreaks of MERS-CoV within their nations.

The virus was first reported in humans three years ago. It continues to be transmitted from camels to humans in some regions, as well as through human-to-human contact, especially in health care settings.

The Emergency Committee concluded that recent transmission of the virus in health care settings was spurred by overcrowded conditions in hospitals, movement of infected patients who weren't diagnosed, and breakdown in prevention and control measures. 

Although members of the committee agreed that they do not consider this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, they do have increased concern about the overall MERS situation. This concern is heightened by the lack of control over the virus as well as the upcoming start of the Hajj, which will see pilgrims traveling to countries where surveillance and health care systems are lacking.

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