The United States and Saudi Arabia may prepare a vaccine for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) to try and head off the next outbreak of the disease, the head of the World Health Organization said last week, according to a Reuters article. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said Saudi Health Minister Khaled al-Falih was discussing this with US public health officials.

“They communicated and looked at collaboration and to see whether we can, in terms of preparedness, get some vaccines ready in advance of another MERS outbreak,” Chan told reporters.

MERS has killed at least 571 of 1,595 people infected since September 2012, mainly in Saudi Arabia. There are currently no licensed vaccines available for MERS. In July, researchers trying to develop a vaccine in the United States said they had early signs of success in animal experiments.