WHO: new coronavirus may spread across China and other countries

How China is responding to ‘breakneck’ spread of novel coronavirus

It is not yet clear how the disease is transmitted and how dangerous it is.

The World Health Organization warns that the new coronavirus may spread throughout China and beyond, and calls on states to take preventive measures in medical facilities. WHO has confirmed 278 cases, including six fatal: two in China and the remaining four – in Thailand, Japan and South Korea.

According to WHO, the new coronavirus is spreading rapidly, and the number of cases and deaths is changing rapidly. The organization will step up measures to identify the source of infection as soon as possible and provide the public with the information necessary to prevent the disease.

On Wednesday, WHO will hold an emergency meeting to determine if the virus is a global health emergency. A team of experts have been dispatched to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, working with local health professionals to find the source of the virus..

According to WHO spokesman Tarek Yasarevich, little is known about the new coronavirus: it is unclear how the disease is transmitted, how serious it is, how large its spread and what its source is..

«Based on the available information, the most likely primary source of this epidemic is an animal source. At the same time, on a limited scale, there is a spread from person to person with close contacts. Based on previous experience with respiratory diseases, in particular outbreaks of other coronaviruses, as well as our analysis of data from China, human-to-human transmission of the virus is occurring.».

According to Yasarevich, transmission from person to person is observed on a limited scale and only between people in close contact. The virus can cause mild to severe symptoms and can be fatal. However, as noted by Yasarevich, in most of the latter cases, we are talking about mild symptoms..

WHO: new coronavirus may spread across China and other countries

The coronavirus was detected late last year at a fish market in Wuhan. It is spreading rapidly, according to the WHO, and more cases are to be expected in the coming days in other parts of China, as well as likely in other countries. The virus could infect large numbers of people during the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, when millions of people are in China travels both within and outside the country to see family.

At a number of airports around the world, passengers are tested for the virus. According to WHO, this is one measure that countries can take to identify potential vectors of the disease. However, the organization believes that, given the currently known risks, there is no need for restrictions in trade and tourism..

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WHO: new coronavirus may spread across China and other countries