Wednesday, May 22, 2013


[This is the 3rd report enclosed in this publication.  Click on the link below for the full post. ]

[3]Call for international meeting
Date: 21 May 2013
From: Daniel Lucey <>

During the past 5 weeks I have been kindly welcomed by medical and public health colleagues while traveling in Jordan, Qatar, UAE, and Egypt to discuss the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) of 2012-2013, and lessons from the SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) epidemic of 2002-2003.

Based on these experiences, and those working as a physician during times when novel infectious diseases caused crises in hospitals e.g., AIDS in San Francisco in 1982, anthrax in Washington in 2001, and SARS in Toronto in 2003, I am writing to recommend 2 measures be coordinated by international public health and medical authorities to strengthen preparedness against MERS-CoV:

1- Convene in the Middle East an open "One Health" MERS-CoV conference within the next 3 weeks, to discuss all key issues necessary to prevent and control this novel coronavirus.
A. Such key issues would include e.g., clinical, epidemiologic, virologic, immunologic, risk communication, animal reservoir(s), global public health, animal model(s), antiviral treatment protocols, and additional international collaborative protocols (e.g., by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC)).
B. The most recent information would be shared by the 8 (or more) nations linked to laboratory-confirmed infections: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, UK, Germany, France, and Tunisia.
C. The conference should be held in the next 3 weeks due to the accelerating pace of the "emergence" of the virus, and also due to increased travel and other traditional activities prior to and during the month of Ramadan [9 Jul 2013-7 Aug 2013].

2 - Create a detailed medical and public health operational plan for both hospital and outpatient settings where patients are evaluated for MERS-CoV.
A. A major goal of this effort is to decrease the risk of health care facility-associated transmission of this virus, as has now been proven to occur in several countries.
B. Another major goal of this effort is to decrease virus transmission in the community partly by optimizing contact tracing via close collaboration between medical and public health professionals.
C. Such a detailed plan can be based on experiences with MERS-CoV in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa, as well as the highly detailed plans developed in the midst of the SARS crises in parts of Asia and Canada in 2003. Such detail would be in addition to existing guidance on MERS-CoV.

In the spirit of person-to-person cooperation,

Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH
Adjunct Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC <>

[ProMED-mail supports Dr. Lucey's call for an international meeting to address concerns re: the MERS-CoV. As a reminder, there was an international meeting to discuss the SARS outbreak held in Kuala Lumpur, approximately this time of year 10 years ago, at which time similar issues were discussed related to the SARS outbreak. - Mod.MPP

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