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The 19th ICID and the Evolving 2019-nCoV Outbreak

As of January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), but opposes travel restrictions. As of now, the 19th International Congress on Infectious Diseases (ICID) will continue as planned.  We recognize that this is an evolving situation and we are monitoring the situation closely. We are in continuous communication with the Malaysian Ministry of Health and our colleagues at the Malaysian Society of Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy (MSIDC). Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, the Minister of Health of Malaysia, will be at the 19th ICID to welcome attendees and to officially open the Congress. 

If there are any significant changes for the 19th ICID we will be in contact with registered attendees via email and updates will be made to this page as we have more information.

Last updated January 31, 2020

Originally published January 28, 2020

The 19th International Congress on Infectious Diseases (ICID) could not come at a more relevant and important time as the world is currently grappling with a new emerging infectious disease - the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which emerged from Wuhan, China in December 2019. For more than 35 years, the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) has been at the forefront of the global effort to detect and contain emerging infectious diseases through our surveillance (ProMED), research, advocacy programs, as well as our publications (Guide to Infection Control in the Healthcare Setting and the International Journal on Infectious Diseases) and meetings (ICID and IMED). 

“Our first and top priority is the health and safety of the people attending the Congress and the communities affected by the 2019-nCoV outbreak around the world.” Says Dr. Marc Mendelson, President of ISID. “Together with our partner organization, the Malaysian Society for Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy, we are monitoring the situation very closely and have every confidence in the Malaysian Ministry of Health and public health officials.”

Malaysia has strong and proven capabilities to handle and prevent outbreaks and these capabilities have been commended by the World Health Organization (WHO). They have been demonstrated multiple times in the past with diverse pathogens such as the Nipah virus, leptospirosis, SARS, Plasmodium knowlesi malaria, sarcocystis and others. We are in continuous communication with Malaysia’s experienced health professionals who lead Malaysia’s outbreak response. 

Currently, the 19th ICID is continuing on as expected beginning on February 20, 2020, but we will keep participants aware of any changes due to circumstances beyond our control. There are currently no travel restrictions, but as this is an evolving outbreak this can change at anytime. Please follow the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for any travel advisories. 

“Knowledge about the novel coronavirus is in such rapid flux that opportunities like this to convene experts to discuss and share their knowledge are extremely valuable,” says Dr. Larry Madoff, Editor of ProMED.

As an addition to the 19th ICID program, we will be including a late breaker panel discussion on the 2019-nCoV outbreak moderated by ProMED editor Dr. Larry Madoff and featuring:

  • Sylvie Briand, Director of WHO’s Infectious Hazard Management Department
  • Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance
  • Hume Field, Science & Policy Advisor at EcoHealth Alliance
  • George Gao, Director General of the Chinese CDC
  • John MacKenzie, Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, Co-Initiator of the One Health Platform
  • Marjorie Pollack, ProMED’s deputy editor (Mod. MPP)
  • Linfa Wang, Director of the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School


For the latest on the 2019-nCoV outbreak please be sure to sign up for ProMED alerts here.

Learn more about the 2019-nCoV outbreak here.

You can find ISID’s editorial on the continuing 2019-nCoV epidemic threat of novel coronaviruses in our International Journal of Infectious Diseases (IJID) here.

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