WHO establishes group to investigate new pathogens including SARS-CoV-2

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The World Health Organisation has formed an expert committee to investigate the origins of new pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The suggested members of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group on Novel Pathogen Origins (SAGO) were chosen for their expertise in epidemiology, animal health, clinical medicine, virology, and genomics.

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Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Ghebreyesus, made the announcement on Wednesday at his monthly press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The 26 scientists represent a variety of nations and were chosen from over 700 submissions in response to a global appeal.

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WHO will hold a two-week public consultation session to gather comments on the proposed SAGO members.

The world has to be better prepared for any future “Disease X,” according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Lead on COVID-19.

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Dr. Van Kerkhove also said she anticipated that SAGO will recommend further studies in China, and potentially elsewhere, to understand the origins of the new coronavirus.

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