WHO statement on MERS-CoV after the 9th Meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee (17 June 2015)

On 17 June 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement on the 9th meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Key Messages

The Committee noted the assessment of the Joint mission regarding main factors contributing to the spread of MERS-CoV in the Republic of Korea were:

  • lack of awareness among health care workers and the general public about MERS;
  • suboptimal infection prevention and control measures in hospitals;
  • close and prolonged contact of infected MERS patients in crowded emergency rooms and multibed rooms in hospitals;
  • the practice of seeking care at multiple hospitals ( “doctor shopping”);
  • the custom of many visitors or family members staying with infected patients in the hospital rooms facilitating secondary spread of infections among contacts.

There is no current evidence of sustained community transmission.

There are still many gaps in knowledge regarding the transmission of this virus between people, including the potential role of environmental contamination, poor ventilation and other factors. More research is needed in these areas.

The Committee concluded that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern have not been met.

Important Link:

Link to the statement:


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