Marion Koopmans to advise WHO about new and unknown viruses

Geneva – Virologist Marion Koopmans is to advise the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on new viruses that could become a public health hazard. She is part of an advisory committee that was tasked to investigate where coronaviruses and other pathogens come from.

‘It is part of nature that new viruses emerge that could cause epidemics and pandemics. The current coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is the newest virus, but it will not be the last,’ says the WHO’s top official, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. According to the Ethiopian, ‘it is essential for preventing future outbreaks that we understand where new disease makers come from.’

In addition to Koopmans, the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens consists of 25 other members. Among them is German virologist Christian Drosten. Koopmans previously investigated the origin of the coronavirus with a WHO team.