The World Health Organization has officially declared the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency following over 8,200 confirmed cases and more than 200 deaths worldwide.
According to the WHO, the “extraordinary event” represents a “public health emergency of international concern.”
The highest level of emergency was issued by the United Nations after the first case of person-to-person transmission outside China took place in Chicago where a sickly woman infected her husband.
“The main reason for this declaration is not for what is happening in China but because of what is happening in other countries,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced.
“Our greatest concern is for the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, which are ill-prepared to deal with it.”
While the WHO applauded China for resorting to “extraordinary measures” in an attempt to contain the virus and treat the patients, the authorities suggested it was vital to act immediately on a global level.
The announcement followed shortly after a senior Chicago woman transmitted the deadly virus to her husband following her trip to Wuhan.
While the husband represented the sixth confirmed novel coronavirus infection in the States, he was the first case of person-to-person transmission outside China.
Despite the circumstances, the CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield claimed they “still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”
“Given what we’ve seen in China and other countries with the novel coronavirus, CDC experts have expected some person-to-person spread in the US,” he told the reporters.
“We understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”
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