I don’t think anyone really expected the 15 experts that make up the new MERS emergency committee at the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a “public health emergency of international concern” today. And they didn’t. Instead they decided, that they needed more information and more time and that they would convene again on Wednesday, 17 July. Below is the short e-mail the WHO sent out after the meeting.
You can read why the committee was formed in a short piece I did on ScienceInsider and you can find the names of the 15 members here.
Summary Report of the IHR Emergency Committee on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Statement by WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan
9 July 2013
Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported regularly to WHO since 2012. In order to take an independent expert view of the situation and to be prepared for any further action, should it be required, the Director-General convened a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee. The Emergency Committee is composed of international experts from a variety of relevant disciplines and all Regions of WHO, their task is to provide expert technical advice to the Director-General in accordance with the IHR (2005).
The first meeting of the Committee was held on Tuesday, 9 July 2013, from 12:00 to15:00 Geneva time (CET).
After reviewing data on the current situation provided by the Secretariat, and information presented to the Committee by officials of several States Parties which have, or have had, cases of MERS-CoV, and after further deliberation, the Committee considered that additional information was needed in a number of areas.
The Committee also considered it needed time for further discussion and consideration. In this regard, it noted that a second Committee meeting is set to be held Wednesday, 17 July 2013, at 12:00 Geneva time (CET).