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A new virus that originated in China has all the marking of a global crisis: It emerged suddenly and can kill people. It’s crossed borders easily, and requires immediate, coordinated efforts between countries to contain it. The details taken together seem enough for the World Health Organization to declare an international public health emergency. But on Wednesday, the WHO demurred.
After several hours of closed-door meetings, the 16-person panel of independent experts tasked with advising WHO leadership on the issue took a vote and found themselves split down the middle. WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus told reporters he has asked the emergency committee to meet again tomorrow to continue the discussion. “This is an evolving and complex situation,” he said. “The decision about whether or not to declare a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously, and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence.”
Could - China - New - Coronavirus - Become
Could China's New Coronavirus Become a Global Epidemic?
Three weeks ago, Chinese authorities alerted the WHO that it was experiencing a cluster of mysterious pneumonia cases. Since then, the world has learned that a new virus that jumped from animals into people and is now spreading between humans is behind the outbreak. Over the past few days the number of cases in China has spiked from dozens to more than 500, including 17 deaths. Cases have now been confirmed in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the US. But that’s not enough to determine how much of a global threat the virus, dubbed 2019-nCoV, really is.
Route - Transmission - Mike - Ryan - WHO
“What matters is the route of transmission,” Mike Ryan, the WHO’s director of health emergencies, told reporters Wednesday. So far, Chinese health authorities have presented evidence that suggests the respiratory virus is spreading through close contact with infected individuals, as is typical with coronaviruses....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Wired
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