The planet is currently grappling with a wildly infectious and novel strain of Coronavirus, and the World Health Organization is now weighing in.
The virus, which begins with respiratory trouble and ends with pneumonia-like symptoms, has been spreading from its epicenter in Wuhan, China for weeks. In the far east nation alone over 170 deaths have been reported in just a matter of days, with some experts showing concern that Beijing may be underreporting the true impact of the illness in order to save face.
Today, the WHO involved itself in the matter with a dire proclamation.
The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the new coronavirus outbreak a global emergency amid the recent jump in the number of infected patients.
“The main reason is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it,” Ghebreyesus added.
The numbers are staggering.
An outbreak of the deadly virus– which has killed at least 170 people as of Thursday and infected a total of 7,834– was first reported by Chinese officials after it originated at an animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan.
Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is now said to be transferable between humans, and 38 new deaths and 1,737 new infected cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.
Several major cities in the US have reported cases, including San Francisco and Chicago. There is no current way to prevent the spread of the disease other than through quarantine.
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