WHO weighs declaring new coronavirus worldwide public health emergency

Workers spray at airport

Deadly Wuhan coronavirus outbreak reaches U.S.; infected man confirmed in Washington state

He says WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has convened the emergency meeting because little is known about the coronavirus and expert advice is needed to calm nerves and to know what protective actions are required. "This is an evolving situation and ... we do expect additional cases in the United States and globally", she said.

The WHO will hold a meeting on Wednesday to determine whether the outbreak constitutes a "public health emergency of worldwide concern" and if so, what should be done to manage it. Neither the SARS nor MERS outbreaks, which are in the same family as the new coronavirus, was deemed an global emergency. "And those in Wuhan, please do not leave the city", Li Bin, China's National Health Commission vice-minister, said in a news briefing, as reported by the BBC. Outbound tour groups have been banned from leaving the city.

The news comes as health officials in Canada begin stepping up public awareness and screening at Canadian hospitals and airports, including the Vancouver International Airport.

"As an adult, I am not too anxious about the disease", Yang Bin, the father of a 7-year-old, said after buying a mask. So far nine people have died from the Wuhan coronavirus. Cleaning and disinfection in the airport will also be stepped up as a whole, it said.

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President of US, Donald Trump was questioned about the new coronavirus on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a day after Centres for Disease Control confirmed the first US case of infection of the virus in Washington state.

There's no way to know but it's likely to be exacerbated by the millions of people across China who are travelling within the country for the Lunar New Year week-long holiday.

South Africa: The National Institute for Communicable Diseases recommends testing anyone who has recently visited Wuhan and is displaying symptoms such as fever and cough. Now a new virus has the world on alert. However, since no one has ever reported finding a coronavirus infecting aquatic animals, it is plausible that the coronavirus may have originated from other animals sold in that market.

At this point, officials are working on the assumption that the virus emerged from human exposure to wild animals being traded, possibly illegally, at a seafood market in Wuhan. But health authorities have confirmed that some infections have come through human-to-human transmission.

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In Wuhan, pharmacies limited sales of face masks to one package per customer as people lined up to buy them.

OR health officials are meeting Tuesday to figure out exactly how they should respond to the virus's spread.

Coronavirus has become an eminent public health threat this month after cases of the disease have spread beyond the city of Wuhan and into some of China's most populous cities. That allowed scientists to discover the novel virus.

Two well-known strains of the coronavirus, which have caused outbreaks more than 10 years ago were Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers). The PHEIC designation (pronounced "fake") was created following an update to the International Health Regulations after that outbreak.

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The WHO has only used the rare label a handful of times, including during the H1N1 - or swine flu - pandemic of 2009 and the Ebola epidemic that devastated parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016.

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