September 11, 2021 3:37:52 am
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday issued an open call for experts to serve as members of the new WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).
The SAGO will advise WHO on technical and scientific considerations regarding the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential, and will be composed of a wide range of experts acting in their personal capacity. SAGO will also guide WHO on next steps for understanding the SARS-CoV-2 origins, read a statement issued on Friday. There have been an increasing number of high-threat pathogens emerging and re-emerging in recent years, such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, Nipah, avian influenza, and the latest SARS-CoV-2.
There is a clear need for robust surveillance and early actions for rapid detection and mitigation efforts, as well as systematic processes to study the emergence of these pathogens and routes of transmission from their natural reservoirs to humans. This is critical to helping WHO, member states and partner institutions to prepare for future spillover threats and to minimise the risk of a disease outbreak growing into a pandemic.
From SARS-CoV-2, which continues to wreak havoc around the world, to the next ‘Disease X’, this global framework to study the emergence of new and known high threat pathogens needs to be comprehensive and coordinated based on a One Health approach. It should also encompass biosafety and biosecurity. And it needs to be scientific, transparent, comprehensive, rapid and inclusive, read the statement.
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