World Health Organization: Viral Illness not yet Global Health Emergency

News

Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. China reported Monday a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus, including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak coincides with the country’s busiest travel period, as millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(WBRE/WYOU) – Officials in two states are investigating two possible new cases of “coronavirus” including one where the person is believed to have recently returned from Wuhan, China.

That’s the suspected epicenter of the virus that has health officials working around the clock to contain.

As cases of coronavirus continue to climb, the World Health Organization are stopping short of declaring it a global health emergency.

“Make no mistake. This is an emergency in china, but it has not yet become a global health emergency,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The agency is also not recommending any broad travel restrictions.
However, in U.S., The CDC is warning against non-essential travel to China.
The government there is taking the extraordinary step of sealing off at least three cities, halting flights, trains and public transit.
The virus has killed at least 17 and sickened more than 600.

Including a Seattle-area man who continues to recover in an isolation unit.

Health officials are now at least monitoring 16 people he had close contact with since returning from a trip to visit family in Wuhan last week.

“Public health workers will call the person daily to do a symptom check, a cough, fever,” said John Wiesman of the Washington State Department of Health.

The CDC is working to get ahead of the virus, developing a real time test for those who show symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath.

“The test is currently being performed at the CDC Atlanta and the goal is next week to distribute that to public health laboratories,” said Dr. Satish Pillai, CDC.

Rapid identification and isolation is key according to officials to stopping the spread of this dangerous illness.

Health screenings at five U.S. airports continue.

Officials believe the risk to the public here is low but say people should still practice good hygiene, covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough and staying home when sick and washing hands often.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CORONAVIRUS

More Coronavirus

3-Day Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Community Calendar

Your Photos

Top Stories

More Top Stories

Latest Videos