Date Published:5/15/2014 2:02:00 PM
Publication Format:

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2015

Contact: Kristy Weinshel

Infectious Disease Experts Comment on MERS-CoV Response

Arlington, VA (May 15, 2014) – The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) applauds the rapid global response to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Emerging global health threats like MERS-CoV illustrate the need to maintain and increase financial support of our public health infrastructure.

"MERS-CoV exemplifies the larger, global issue of infection prevention and control which depends on laboratory detection of emerging pathogens, ongoing scientific research and the work of the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC)," said Daniel Diekema, MD, president of SHEA. "Understanding what prevention approaches work requires increased funding for prevention research. CDC's ongoing efforts in this situation, as well as the vigilance exhibited by the individual healthcare workers to meticulously follow infection control procedures, are helping to contain this threat."

With two confirmed cases of MERS-CoV in the United States and a steadily increasing number of international cases, SHEA echoes the CDC-recommended infection control measures, including standard, contact, and airborne precautions while managing symptomatic close contacts of patients under investigation and patients who have probable or confirmed MERS-CoV to prevent spread in healthcare settings. Recommended infection control precautions should also be utilized when collecting specimens.

To ensure patients' safety and promote basic infection prevention in all healthcare settings, SHEA encourages hand hygiene and a reduction of unnecessary antibiotics use to ensure their efficacy in the future.


SHEA is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals globally with expertise in and passion for healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. The society promotes science and research, develops expert guidelines and guidance for healthcare workers, provides high-quality education, promotes antimicrobial stewardship, encourages transparency in public reporting related to HAIs, works to ensure a safe healthcare environment, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge. SHEA upholds the value and critical contributions of healthcare epidemiology to improving patient care and healthcare worker safety in all healthcare settings. Visit SHEA online at, and @SHEA_Epi.