World Health Organization says coronavirus outbreak is NOT an worldwide emergency

Alarm Over Virus Pushing Down Oil in Market Awash With Supply

Alarm Over Virus Pushing Down Oil in Market Awash With Supply

China chose to lock down three cities that are home to more than 18 million people in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush.

Adhanom said the global organization remains concerned about the outbreak in China, and understands that some in the region of the country that has been particularly affected already consider it a health emergency. There had been dozens of confirmed cases by that point and a handful of deaths linked to the coronavirus. What they didn't know until now was what animal it came from.

The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003 sickened more than 8,000 people and killed 774.

There is no cure for the new virus or vaccine to prevent it, and the National Institutes of Health says research to develop a vaccine is in 'very preliminary stages'.

"We were looking at a local outbreak [on] December 31, which turned into more of a domestic outbreak affecting other parts of mainland China, which turned into an outbreak involving global destinations in the region, which has now turned into an outbreak involving intercontinental spread", said Khan.

With this in mind, researchers at Wuhan University have been looking for an animal source of the new virus.

But they still have not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus. What was concluded is that 2019-nCoV is a combination of coronavirus found in bats and another coronavirus of unknown origin.

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According to the study, this recognition is key to allowing viruses to enter host cells, and cause infection and disease.

But while bats are partly to blame, a more slippery critter has been harboring the virus.

However, experts in forecasting the spread of infectious diseases, known as modeling, at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom believe a total of 4,000 cases of the virus could have occurred in Wuhan by January 18.

"The lack of transparency in the past, especially with SARS ... gives us concern that that may be the case here", the official said, adding however that there were "positive signs that they have taken action in Wuhan". The findings are reported in the Journal of Medical Virology. The WHO has also provided health authorities in its member nations with guidance as to surveillance for coronavirus, and the organization is allocating resources to fund accelerated research and development into diagnostic tests, drug treatments and vaccines against the disease. "We need to prevent transmission through amplification events and super-spreading events, and obviously prevent further global spread".

"To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science", Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization's representative in China, told The Associated Press in an interview at the WHO's Beijing office. Meanwhile, experts are questioning how effective the quarantine will actually be now the virus has already spread across the border.

Authorities announced similar measures would take effect Friday in the nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou.

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