The early response to a novel coronavirus in the Middle East

A. Mounts*, S. De La Rocque, J. Fitzner, E. Garcia, H. L. Thomas, David Brown, H. Schuster, K. Vandemaele, H. Esmat, S. Eremin, A. Mafi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The detection of a novel coronavirus in patients from the Arabian Peninsula in late 2012 raised serious concerns of a possible international outbreak. Ministries of health of the three affected countries invited missions from the World Health Organization to participate in a review of data and capacity to detect and respond to further cases. Recommendations were made for investigations to answer critical questions about human-tohuman transmission and the geographic extent of the virus. Additional recommendations were made to improve surveillance capacity by acquiring the capacity to test for the virus and enhance syndromic surveillance. Available evidence continues to suggest an unknown animal reservoir for the virus with sporadic zoonotic transmission as the primary epidemiological pattern of transmission. Human-to-human transmission, while it can occur, does not appear to be sustained in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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