COVID-19 Resource Center
COVID-19 Resource Center
Perspective from Daniel R. Lucey, MD, FIDSA
January 20, 2020
2 min read
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WHO calls emergency meeting over Chinese coronavirus outbreak

Perspective from Daniel R. Lucey, MD, FIDSA
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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WHO has called an emergency committee meeting to determine if the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China should be considered a global public health emergency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will convene the meeting under the International Health Regulations on Wednesday to determine whether the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The committee also will discuss what recommendations should be made to manage the outbreak, which has left more than 200 people infected.

According to the China Daily newspaper, health officials in Wuhan, China, confirmed 136 new cases of the virus on Monday after reporting more than 130 new cases over the weekend. Officials have said that the virus is spreading from person-to-person. So far, three patients have died. The outbreak has been linked to an animal market in Wuhan.

There also have been multiple reports of cases outside of Wuhan, including two previously reported cases in Thailand and another in Japan. On Monday, China Daily reported three additional cases in Beijing and South China's Guangdong province.

To help prevent transmission to the United States, the CDC announced that travelers from Wuhan to the U.S. will undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with the coronavirus. The efforts will be concentrated in the three airports that receive the most travelers from Wuhan: SFO in San Francisco, JFK in New York and LAX in Los Angeles. Approximately 100 additional staff members were sent to these airports to assist current staff members at CDC quarantine stations in these airports.

According to the CDC, the last time these precautions were put in place was during the West African Ebola epidemic. – by Caitlyn Stulpin