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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Letter from the Director of National Healthcare Preparedness Programs

Dear Colleagues,

The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is always concerned when emerging new diseases, such as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), threaten human health. To better prepare the ASPR National Healthcare Preparedness Program’s (NHPP) awardees and coalitions for MERS-CoV and similar threats, we worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the attached guidance.

There have not been any reports of MERS cases in the United States, and in July the World Health Organization’s second Emergency Committee determined that the current MERS-CoV situation is serious but does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at this time.  ASPR and CDC continue to monitor the situation closely, and we recognize the potential for further MERS-CoV cases and clusters globally, including the United States.

We ask that our grantees and our healthcare coalition partners remain vigilant and take steps to be as prepared as possible to protect our communities and our nation from emerging new infectious diseases including MERS-CoV.  Please share the enclosed guidance with your healthcare coalition partners to assist in their individual preparedness efforts, as well as coalition efforts.  This guidance is also available online:

Thank you for your continued dedication to ensure our nation is prepared for public health emergencies.

// SIGNED //
David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP
Director, National Healthcare Preparedness Programs


  • This page last reviewed: September 05, 2013