Coronavirus outbreak: WHO declares an international public health emergency

The World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency of international concern following an outbreak of a new coronavirus from Wuhan, China. WHO officials made the announcement Thursday following an emergency committee meeting of health experts on the virus.

A WHO declaration of an international public health emergency is rare, with only five going into effect in the past decade. These include situations concerning the 2009 H1 virus that caused an influenza pandemic, West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, polio in 2014, the Zika virus in 2016 and the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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