WHO coronavirus

The World Health Organization just declared coronavirus a global emergency

This afternoon, the World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus in Wuhan a global health emergency.

The U.N. health agency defines a global emergency as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a co-ordinated international response.

As of today, China has reported more than 7800 cases of coronavirus, and the death toll has climbed to 170.

There are currently 98 cases in 18 countries outside of China, including 8 cases of human-to-human transmission — one of which was in Canada.

WHO Director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus called the coronavirus an "unprecedented outbreak" with an "unprecedented response."

He added, "The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries."

"Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker healthcare systems, which are ill-prepared to deal with it."

Although a coronavirus vaccine is still in the initial stages of development, the United Nations has provided a chart with advice for how to prevent the spread of infection.

WHO emphasized that although they can set global standards of practice, their recommendations are non-binding.

Canada is warning citizens not to travel to China at this time.

Lead photo by

World Health Organization

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