Institut Pasteur and Fondation Mérieux initiate workshop on MERS-CoV threat

October 9, 2013 - Les Pensières, Annecy (France)


Much remains unknown about the new coronavirus responsible for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) respiratory illness, which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

As of 30th September, 130 cases have been reported and 58 deaths caused by the virus, most of them in Saudi Arabia. With over 2 million pilgrims expected to convene in Mecca in the coming days to perform the Hajj, 14-18 October, the threat of the virus spreading is of growing concern to global health authorities.

Institut Pasteur and Fondation Mérieux are bringing together the leading European experts at Les Pensières conference center for a workshop 8th October. A better understanding of the source of MERS-CoV and its epidemiology is essential to develop strategies for preventing infections. Albert DME Osterhaus from ERASMUS University, Christian Drosten from University of Bonn and Jean-Claude Manuguerra and Arnaud Fontanet from Institut Pasteur will lead the sessions.

The MERS-CoV workshop is a satellite event taking place during the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R), being held at Les Pensières 9-10 October. Organised by the European Commission, Inserm and Fondation Mérieux, this meeting will address the risk of epidemics caused by emerging infectious disease.