WHO declares coronavirus a global health emergency - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, February 20, 2020
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WHO declares coronavirus a global health emergency

The novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China is now a global health emergency, says the World Health Organization.

A Public Health Emergency of International Concern is described by WHO as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

The Wuhan virus has spread to 23 countries, and has taken 213 lives in the weeks since the outbreak started in Wuhan, a city the size of London in the middle of China. There have been 9,171 confirmed cases, as of Jan. 30, 2020.

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

Six cases of the virus have been identified in the U.S. The most recent was of a family member in Chicago who was caring for a coronavirus patient who had returned from a trip to Wuhan during the initial outbreak.

There have been five previous public health emergencies of international concern declared by WHO:

  • 2009 H1N1
  • 2014 polio
  • 2014 Ebola in West Africa
  • 2016 Zika
  • 2019 Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I think China and other countries have had a good rapid response on this thing. It’s almost like they’re waiting for one of these things to get loose or be turned loose by some rogue Nation. I don’t think we need to worry about world war 3 it’s one of these germs that is probably going to take us out.

  • If you think a communist country can have a rapid response to anything that doesn’t involve the use of force, I have a bridge to sell you. There are reports of under reporting.

  • The “good rapid response” is useless without immediate travel restrictions, quarantines and Truth. The virus has spread world wide and no purportedly effective response has stopped it. The word “exponential” enters the equation. The farther it spreads, the quicker it spreads. There comes a time in many situations when logical becomes illogical, it seems. To ignore this threat and ‘hope’ for the best will not deliver the desired solution. That seems to be what many ‘powerful’ entities are doing, instead of proactive action against the threat. The world is already behind in remediation. Without immediate, positive, proactive measures now, the chances of suppression and elimination of the virus dwindle on a daily basis. Even then, without those measures already implemented, “the horse is already out of the barn”. This threat needs to be taken seriously and all measures (including individual) need to be taken immediately to protect us and ours.
    Now (and it’s late), every American/Alaskan needs to recognize the threat and take appropriate action to protect our country, state and loved ones. That can be as simple as buying a few cans of tuna, rice, beans, pasta, etc. and stashing it for any possibility of need. In depth preparations can be expensive and time consuming, providing finances are available. Ignoring it simply will not be effective. I don’t like being the scaremonger but someone needs to say this and I don’t really see it anywhere else. Denial seems to be the current response in most cases. Don’t panic. Use common sense and do what you can do for yourself and yours.

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