Emergency meeting on MERS outbreak
The World Health Organization said Saturday that it would hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to consider South Korea’s outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which it described as “large and complex.” The virus has infected 138 people in South Korea and killed 14 of them since it was first diagnosed May 20 in a businessman who had returned from a trip to the Middle East.
The U.N. health agency said that more cases should be anticipated but that the disease was confined to hospitals, with no sign it was spreading in the community. There was also no indication that the MERS virus in South Korea had changed to become more transmissible, said Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s assistant director general, at a news conference at the Health Ministry in Sejong, south of the capital, Seoul.
The meeting Tuesday of the MERS emergency committee, which comprises international health experts from WHO member states, will provide technical updates on epidemiology as well as advice on future actions to be taken, the agency said.