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World Health Organization declares coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, after an emergency committee re...

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 12:40 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 1:30 PM

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, after an emergency committee reconvened Thursday in Geneva.

Last week, the organization said the virus did not yet constitute the emergency declaration. But with rising numbers and evidence of person-to-person transmission in a handful of cases outside of China, WHO leadership called the committee back together over concerns of a larger outbreak down the line.

'The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries,' WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday. 'Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it.'

WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern as 'an extraordinary event' that constitutes a 'public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease' and 'to potentially require a coordinated international response.' Previous emergencies have included Ebola, Zika and H1N1.

Committee chairman Dr. Didier Houssin said the decision to recommend the declaration to WHO leadership was almost unanimous -- citing a growing number of cases in China, an increase in the number of countries impacted, and that 'some countries have taken questionable measures concerning travelers.'

Houssin said that declaring the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern would allow WHO to better coordinate the international response and hold nations to account if they overstep the organization's standards -- which may pertain to travel, trade, quarantine or screening.

Ghebreyesus commended China for its actions to limit the spread of the virus, saying that 'we would have seen many more cases outside China by now -- and probably deaths -- if it were not for the government's efforts.

'Let me be clear: This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,' Ghebreyesus said. 'On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33509

Reported Deaths: 559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7274140
Marion477996
Washington461560
Umatilla300441
Clackamas246663
Malheur165030
Lane129317
Jackson11906
Deschutes87312
Yamhill77414
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn53213
Morrow5136
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3286
Wasco2964
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2434
Clatsop2210
Josephine2042
Columbia1841
Coos1600
Baker982
Crook631
Tillamook530
Lake340
Wallowa331
Curry320
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 819115

Reported Deaths: 15885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2702996576
Riverside594051226
San Bernardino55203955
Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
Sacramento22590416
Alameda21383412
Santa Clara21379322
San Joaquin20411456
Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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