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World Health Organization Declares Coronavirus Global Health Emergency

Caitlyn Clancey 30 Jan 2020

The World Health Organization has officially declared the new coronavirus a global health emergency, BBC News reported.

The outbreak, which is suspected to have originated in Wuhan, China, has now spread to other parts of the world, sparking concern for those countries with weaker health systems.

The virus causes pneumonia-like symptoms, like cough and fever, and can be transmitted from person to person, although it's still unclear just how easily that happens.

On January 30, the WHO made the announcement following an emergency committee meeting of health experts.

"The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries," WHO director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

He also praised China's "extraordinary measures" to prevent the disease from spreading and emphasized, "this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China."

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As of right now, the coronavirus death toll stands at 170 people in China, with 98 cases in 18 other countries reported around the world.

In a statement the WHO emergency committee emphasized that what we need most now is intentional co-operation:

“The Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk."

h/t: BBC News

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