Novel coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO
The announcement comes shortly after officials confirmed the first case of human-to-human transmission in the U.S.
By Laura French
SWITZERLAND — The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China a global health emergency during a news conference on Thursday.
The announcement came shortly after the first human-to-human transmission of the virus in the U.S. was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to ABC News.
WHO has only declared a global health emergency, a designation reserved for "extraordinary events" posing an international risk to public health, in five other cases, including during the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks of recent years.
According to a live map of the outbreak created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering with data from WHO and the CDC, 8,235 cases of the virus have been identified as of 11 a.m. EST on Jan. 30. Most of those cases are from mainland China, and five are from the United States. A total of 171 people have died from the virus, all in China.