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PHR Article of the Week: CDC’s Early Response to MERS

The first ever case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS- CoV) was reported in September 2012. In the upcoming  issue of Public Health Reports, July/August 2015,  CDC researchers on behalf of the MERS-CoV Working Group describe the approaches taken by CDC, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners, to respond to this novel virus, and outlines the agency responses prior to the first case appearing in the United States in May 2014. During this time, CDC’s response integrated multiple disciplines and was divided into three distinct phases: before, during, and after the initial activation of its Emergency Operations Center. CDC’s response to MERS-CoV required a large effort, deploying at least 353 staff members who worked in the areas of surveillance, laboratory capacity, infection control guidance, and travelers’ health. This response built on CDC’s experience with previous outbreaks of other pathogens and provided useful lessons for future emerging threats.


This week’s PHR feature article, CDC’s Early Response to a Novel Viral Disease, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), September 2012–May 2014, may be viewed here.

The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.