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WHO´s Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) held its first meeting recently. Amongst other things, the group will advise on a framework for researching emerging pathogens that have pandemic potential.

SAGO’s first meeting was largely procedural, and included the appointment of the Chair (Dr. Marietjie Venter from South Africa) and Vice-Chair (Dr Jean-Claude Manuguerra from France).

The group agreed to meet frequently and focus urgently on advising on the overarching framework to study the emergence of novel pathogens, as well as to rapidly undertake an assessment of the current understanding of the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

SAGO is composed of experts acting in a personal capacity and will work with additional experts from various technical areas as needed.

In its capacity as an advisory body to WHO, SAGO will:

  • Advise WHO on the development of a WHO global framework to define and guide studies into the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential;
  • Advise WHO on prioritizing studies and field investigations into the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential;
  • Provide information and views to assist the WHO Secretariat in the development of a detailed work plan of SAGO.

More details.

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