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Published On: Sat, Jul 6th, 2013

WHO to convene emergency committee on MERS next week

In a press conference July 5, WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda announced the UN agency would go ahead next week and to convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee over the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Image/CDC

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Image/CDC

Fukuda says the reason for the emergency committee is to be in a position to be ready for any possibility and we want countries to be in a position of being ready for any possible directions that this virus could take.

According to the WHO, The Emergency Committee is made up of international experts to provide technical advice to the WHO Director-General in the context of a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC).

The team of experts, virologists, public health experts and epidemiologists will convene by telephone on Tuesday, and possibly a followup on Thursday. The variety of experts should give a wide range of perspectives on the MERS issue.

One of the questions the committee will answer is whether they think that the current situation constitutes a PHEIC.

“Then the next thing that we will do is ask them, based on everything that you see, do you think that WHO should make any additional temporary recommendations beyond what it has already said?,” Fukuda said.

According to the official numbers from the WHO, there have been 79 cases and 42 deaths from the MERS coronavirus, with a fatality rate somewhere between 50-60%.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Saudi Arabia announces another MERS case, global total now 80 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] next week, the WHO will convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee over the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to determine if the current […]

  2. MERS does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC): Emergency committee - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow-up to a report July 6, the second meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the […]

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