W.H.O. Declares Global Emergency as Wuhan Coronavirus Spreads

The announcement came as nearly 10,000 cases have been reported worldwide.

Comments: 238

  1. The time has come for the international community to come together and ban all flights out of China.

  2. W.H.O. tarried, but, finally spoke-up. Every moment is a defense from potential infection, epidemic and pandemic. South America and Africa have reported no incidents of Coronavirus, as yet. We pray none arrive there. The W.H.O action is welcome and must be taken seriously.

  3. Too bad John Bolton got rid of the guy who was an expert at dealing with pandemics in this country. There's no one in that position now, and the CDC has also lost needed funding under trump. I guess "thoughts and prayers" are in order now...

  4. @Lynn Taylor Was the pandemics expert executed? Or is he still alive and well in America?

  5. @Zetelmo Seriously?! What good is a pandemics expert, if s/he's not currently employed at the CDC? S/he may be alive and well but if s/he hasn't access to any data, lab results, infection rates what do you think that s/he'll be able to do that would help reduce infections in the US? Wow.

  6. We need an International Block of any Flights to or from China. We owe this to other Nations.

  7. @Philip W And what are you going to do about all the container ships heading to/from China?

  8. Closed borders and no international flights. Abandoned airports. Slowing down trade. Sounds like the beginning of the 2020 Recession.

  9. @Rod People might want to research where most of their antibiotics and other medication is produced before shutting borders, flights and other forms of transportation! I will give a hint: China

  10. @Rod yes. The same one that was supposed to happen last year or the one Krugman said would happen. Most earnings calls have full-throated endorsements of moving forward with investments. China and Brexit are priced in. The good news is no businessman I know reads the NYT for serious economic analysis. Most sr management ( I am one) rely on WSJ and FT. Not Paul Krugmans weekly musings. Too bad you missed out on the past 10 years in doom and gloom. Ive enjoyed 340% net worth increase.

  11. @Scott wow, brag much? What do businesswomen read out of curiosity? And how is a crisis in China that has really only escalated in the past 2-3 weeks get ‘priced in’ already?

  12. I listened to the first couple W.H.O. conference videos when this first became a concern and thought it was odd how they would begin the update with 10 minutes of praise to the Chinese government about their handling and openness about the situation. Quite strange and suspicious for what their priority should be.

  13. @Mike I've read in a few places that the reasoning behind that might've been to satisfy the government. Now that's all speculation but in knowing what we know in how the government operates, if the WHO came in there not praising, they might be barred from ever returning and actually getting any type of knowledge or scale of the situation.

  14. @Mike , they need the help of the Chinese, so that praise may be needful in regard to the paramount concern.

  15. @Mike Le Monde and a few news outlets have claimed the Chinese government pressured WHO to not announcing the global emergency sooner. I'm not sure how reliable those reports are, but if true the lavish praise would make sense.

  16. Ross' statement, in addition to being extremely uncaring, is incorrect. This epidemic has the potential to spread widely within the U.S., which would not be good for business ultimately. This is why the stock market declined due to this news. If officials are going to comment, why not limit it to what we can do to prevent the spread of the virus, what kinds of preparations the U.S. is making, etc. Preparation helps prevent panic and may help avoid the worst. That's the job of these public servants. Although washing your hands frequently seems like mundane advice, for some viruses it's quite good advice. It might help the economy, selling more soap and hand sanitizer. Though hand sanitizer doesn't work well and soap and water plus proper technique does. This is a PSA from me. Let's hear it from them plus more.

  17. For those who suggest cutting off all transportation from China, do they also suggest prohibiting US residents from traveling anywhere because flu exists here? Per CDC website, since Oct 2019 there have been over 15 million flu illnesses, 7 million medical visits, 140,000 hospitalizations and more than 8200 deaths, just in the US. The numbers suggest the flu is a much more prevalent and dangerous health risk to US residents and a little common sense and rational perspective is warranted.

  18. @Sherry Mesman Yes I agree. I'm disappointed that I can't find anything on the NY Times examining the actual danger of the virus. I've found other sources that point out a death rate very similar to the regular flu, whereas SARS for example was 5x more deadly. Sure, the virus is spreading fast, but unless you're afraid of being killed by the flu, there's no reason to be any more afraid of this particular virus.

  19. @Sherry Mesman This would bring me calm with the situation but at least for the flu we have a shot and treatment if you catch it. This is practically still an unknown with a vaccine months to possibly a year out. That's the terrifying thing. With that being said, if more cases start popping up in America, I think we'd have a better handle on the containment.

  20. I’m not a medical practitioner but I believe the treatment for coronavirus is essentially the same as for the flu. I don’t mean to suggest that we shouldn’t be wary of any new virus, but unless the morbidity rate for this coronavirus has been drastically understated, it doesn’t appear to be particularly more dangerous than the flu. For either, good health precautions are in order, but irrational fear isn’t.

  21. So China did the right thing at beginning, locks down a mega city. 2020 really didn’t start well for the world, too many bad things happened in the first month. Hope people no matter where they came from can learn to love and help each other and pass this hardness all together.

  22. It is self-evident China did not do the right thing quickly enough to contain this potential pandemic. In a dictatorship based on fear of severe reprisal for unprotected whistleblowers, saying something and doing the right thing in a timely manner is again, self-evidently impossible.

  23. @Lilly re: In a dictatorship based on fear of severe reprisal for unprotected whistleblowers, saying something and doing the right thing in a timely manner is again, self-evidently impossible." Maybe, but you should compare: Do you think that "doing the right thing in a timely manner" would be MORE possible in the good-old-democratic USA? We can't even regulate guns; we can't regulate the misuse of antibiotics (a huge public-health crisis in the making); we can't effectively regulate Wall Street. Despite having DECADES of trying. And the list goes on.

  24. For people that show death rate compared to the "flu' and say we are overreacting don't understand a few things. 1) Early in the risk assessment, the numbers suggest death rate is low, so okay, to soon 2) Why the virus mutation and transmission and death rate could change, too early to tell. Since it is same family as MERs/SARS if it mutates to MERs like it could be a huge issue. Would you rather be safe or sorry, the costs to be safe are indeed high and we see China take that approach. Or they may know something they aren't saying!

  25. The horse was out of the barn, so to speak, so China & WHO decided to throw in the kitchen sink. After all, flights were canceled and quarantines enacted. When all the bad news is out, any incremental improvement or even less bad is good news going forward. Smart play, really. The Chinese have learned from their failed stonewalling tactics with SARS

  26. Why isn’t the flu considered an international emergency? I bet you this years flu is going to kill far more people that this new virus.

  27. @Neil, the difference is that there are vaccines for the flu - and none for the Coronavirus. And so far, the Corona virus has a much higher rate of fatality - 2% vs. 0.1% for the flu. It's also new, spreading very rapidly - and it incubates for 2 weeks before symptoms appear. Who knows how far and wide this will spread in the next few months? I wouldn't bet on anything right now. Especially in a city like ours, in which millions of people travel to and from all over the world, use public transit, and are in close contact with dozens or hundreds of people every day.

  28. @Neil You are too young to remember the swine flu. We made it a big deal and fortunately it was not a big problem.

  29. @doy1 , two people are being tested now for confirmation of the novel corona virus in Oklahoma—it’s an international world these days.

  30. Finally. Now let’s all realize this is truly a big deal and, realistically and without panic, start dealing with it. Let us listen to the experts. Let us not listen to trump & co. This virus is not, and will not, be contained anytime soon. I welcome the day we have a trustworthy president who can lead with wisdom, great care, and a humble manner.

  31. @Moosh Ha~! Trump said it was under control.

  32. @Moosh Trump is lying because all he does is lie, but that doesn't mean that this is any more of a threat to the US than SARS or Ebola was.

  33. @sedanchair But it is, we already know it is, spreads far more rapidly than those viruses - far greater threat.

  34. A bit of perspective: In the US, the Centers for Disease Control influenza statistics estimates 9–45 million illnesses, 140–180,000 hospitalizations and 12–61,000 deaths annually since 2010. At this moment, there’ve been around 8000 cases and some 180 deaths worldwide (but most or all in China) from the new corona virus over the past month. Certainly, there’s reason for caution but not really a need for panic just yet. I definitely think we need to be vigilant but it kind of feels like the media might fueling some of the worry.

  35. @David 8K have been recorded which means that the number of infected is much, much higher especially in China where the news are censored

  36. @David The millions who died in the Flu Epidemic of 1918 said the same. Do not panic ….but....Trump is in charge.....so....

  37. @David A bit more perspective -- the last true pandemic was the 1918 flu pandemic in which 30% of the world population contracted the virus and 10% died. That was 500 million infected and 50 million deceased. Today, that would be 2 Billion infected and 200 Million deceased.

  38. Better safe than sorry? How effective will be the future control of spread after the W.H.O. declaration.

  39. This had to happen simply because if it got out of control and they didn't then they would be held to account. If they announce it and it turns out to be what it likely will end up being they can say their rapid response helped limit the spread. Honestly it is a win/win so really hard to take anything from the announcement on its own. Without being an expert but with looking at cases with previous related viruses this will likely run it's course and be the end of it (like SARS and MERS). Obviously how contagious is a big difference but at this point healthy people are recovering, which is probably masking the true number that are sick. If it hit healthy people hard it would be a much bigger problem.

  40. coronavirus wasn't a zoonotic disease but after virus reassortment process , it has recognitioned in human body . Avian influenza virus can act much similar as coronavirus . we should find a way to prevent virus shifts that made them a dangerous type .

  41. Actually coronavirus and flu virus have very different genome organization. You can learn about this via the validated information on real virology sites or though the very good Wikipedia entries on these and other viruses. Or you can entries in ind an up-to-date virology textbook on these classes of virus. And this new strain of coronavirus is almost certainly zoonotic. There is real science around this.

  42. Excellent report outlining the different meanings of a WTO declaration of global emergency. As for the epidemic itself, if it can be successfully subdued in time, it might bring many important positive changes.

  43. It is self-evident China did not do the right thing quickly enough to contain this potential pandemic. In a dictatorship based on fear of severe reprisal for unprotected whistleblowers, saying something and doing the right thing in a timely manner is again, self-evidently impossible. I hope you also see the essential lesson for us here, in this moment? Especially if we intend to avoid becoming a dictatorship...?

  44. @Kit First, most hospital beds would be reserved for the rich. Second, all other cases would be transferred to our concentration camps and the immigrants currently held there forced to tend to them.

  45. @Lilly We can’t avoid becoming another dictatorship. If the president thinks it will help him win re election it is in the national interest and not impeachable.

  46. @Lilly I would be curious to see how you think the United States would have approached this had the coronavirus originated here.

  47. Bear in mind that the statistics we're reading are unreliable, and not for China's lack of trying. Especially at this early stage of the outbreak, the numbers we're reading - 170 dead out of 8000 cases reported - are notoriously unreliable. The 'cases reported' statistic especially, first because many cases go unreported when symptoms may be mild or even nonexistent. As a result, the cases reported statistic - the denominator - is likely much larger, while deaths - the numerator - are, of course, much easier to discern and therefore report. So it's likely that the rate of death is overstated and will fall. Already it's lower than SARS. This does not mean at all that governments should be complacent. But it does mean we should consult reliable sources for information and, so far at least, exercise the reasonable, flu-prevention precautions that the CDC recommends.

  48. @MWR But already there are more reported cases of this virus than there were of SARS (total of ~8000 cases) in only a few week...

  49. Listen to Micheal Barbaro and NYT’s, The Daily’s excellent reporting on why this epidemic is an example of how China learned nothing from the SARS epidemic, by refusing to address the underlying problem that results in those in positions of responsibility refusing to do what’s in the best interests of the nation and the world, out of fear for their own self-interest. Sound familiar...?

  50. @MWR What do you mean by "already it's lower than SARS?" You mean, I assume, "at this time it's lower than SARS." Well, just wait a few weeks before the comparisons mean something.

  51. I think the WHO is being realistically cautious. People are underestimating the strength and mortality rate of this virus. In China the number of cases and mortality rate is underestimated due to the lack of hospital beds and availability of testing kits. You do not get tested if you present with systems and they do not have a bed or hallway space for you. The people getting tested and support are those that can afford it in tier one hospitals. In other words the wealthy. I am likely that the cases will explode in the west and other parts of SEA as the virus has time to take hold in the millions of tourists from China traveling the world in holiday for the Lunar New Year.

  52. @Sailorgirl Well China has a universal health care system so those being tested aren't necessarily wealthy. They are likely those that were showing heavier symptoms. I agree that if this virus spread to SEA it would be much harder to contain. The first case in India was just reported, really not a good sign...

  53. Looks like it's the Yeas of the Bat.

  54. Some information from People's Daily: "The latest 7 new cases in Beijing, cumulative diagnosis of 121 cases. From 8 am to 2 pm on January 30, 7 new cases of pneumonitis infected with new coronavirus were added to Beijing, 2 of which had contact history in Hubei and other provinces, and 5 were close contacts of confirmed cases, all of which have been sent to the city Designated medical institutions for treatment. As of 20:00 on January 30, Beijing has accumulated 121 confirmed cases, including 1 death, 5 discharges, and 115 cases of isolation and treatment at designated municipal hospitals. 2 in Dongcheng District, 12 in Xicheng District, 21 in Chaoyang District, 24 in Haidian District, 11 in Fengtai District, 2 in Shijingshan District, 1 in Mentougou District, 10 in Tongzhou District, 2 in Shunyi District, 15 in Daxing District, There were 9 cases in Changping District, 1 case in Huairou District, and 11 cases came from overseas. No cases have been reported in Fangshan District, Pinggu District, Miyun District, and Yanqing District. Source: People's Daily 5 hours ago 1-30 10:03 The effects of traffic regulations will be felt in the coming days Traffic control creates a barrier between the source of infection and healthy people, blocking the spread of the virus. The epidemic data may be worrying, but imagine that if no measures are taken, there may be several "Wuhan" in the country."

  55. still will cause less harm than viral fake news on facebook

  56. A week too late. How many more people got sick and how many more will die? You did not have to be an expert to see this coming. They were too concerned with the politics to actually save lives.

  57. What power does the W.H.O. have over nominal scientific, technological, diplomatic and military sovereign nation states like China and Russia to deal with the coronavirus by declaring this emergency?

  58. What scares me is the total incompetence on display daily of the Trump administration. Sooner or later smart people have predicted a crisis somewhere that Trump will have to deal with and now he has successfully surrounded himself with sycophants and people as unqualified and incompetent as he is. Could this become that crisis? I don’t know but what I do know is that it could be and I have no confidence in our current administration to handle it.

  59. @Chris Totally agree. This country started feeling like a jungle with an incompetent administration and armed gangsters walking around.

  60. @Chris This is not the time to politicize the looming crises as a weapon against Trump. It will only divert the administration's attention from what should be done.

  61. If the best that we have for our survival is hand washing and face masks then we are in big trouble. China is the epicenter of this pandemic. It is rapidly spreading elsewhere. Today cases were announced in the United Arab Emirates. Soon it will be playing in a location near you. There is no treatment. Many people will die. Our vaunted healthcare system is powerless to deal with this tiny virus that is killing so many people.

  62. @Simon Sez Please, a little common sense. It is not killing "so many people" but rather 2-3% of those infected. Those dying are almost all elderly or with underlying conditions making these people susceptible to respiratory compromise.

  63. Finally. WHO has been praising China for their swift action. Since when WHO is also controlled by China! Should have declared global emergency days ago!

  64. This took far too long. Also members of WHO going on about how great China has been to how they have been transparent was a joke. When I think of transparency, I don't think of China jailing journalists trying to bring attention to this virus. I don't think of the local government being blamed for following the national government's protocol. I don't think of the government creating an environment of fear for speaking up how things are worse than what is being reported. Their fawning for Xi and the CCP was disgraceful. Having said that, at least they finally took action since the incubation and human to human transmission is a grave concern.

  65. Compared to a list of a scores (hundreds?) of other diseases and maladys causing people to get sick and / or die, the statistics on this are not alarming in the least. Can someone please explain why this is more than filler for a slow news cycle?

  66. @Jay Novel disease with high death rate and is of the type of virus that can mutate and become more deadly and/or virulent, similar to SARS. No vaccine for a long while. City larger than any US city in China has been basically completely locked down (Wuhan).

  67. @Beau But so far it is not a high death rate but rather around 2 to 3 percent. All are elderly or have a preexisting condition making them more susceptible to respiratory compromise.

  68. That us octogenarians great comfort. Oh well, we’re pretty useless anyway.

  69. I don't understand the problem. 61,000 people died of the flu in the US alone in 2018 according to this source- https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2017-2018.htm/ Compare that to the 171 that have died worldwide so far from coronavirus. So why the panic?

  70. @Greg Yes, if the flu is much worse and I’m sure they have the flu in China as well... then why is China shutting down entire cities with millions of people? Why the panic? Sounds like no big deal at all... right... China is not a third world country anymore. These cities are very advanced now with modern hospitals and well trained doctors. If they are shutting down cities with millions of people there is something definitely wrong. It seems many here don’t realize how advanced China has become and ignore the fact China’s best doctors and professionals cannot handle this virus. Oh but we can...

  71. Until we know more about how easily this virus spreads, this is the right approach. A wait and see approach could cause a global catastrophe.

  72. @Greg, you're right. You don't understand. This disease is so far has a case fatality rate (CFR) of 172/8000, the flu this season has a U.S. CFR of 8000/15,000,000. .0215 vs. .000533. This disease is far more fatal than the flu. If it were to reach the same number of people, 15,000,000, then 325,000 would die.

  73. As a physician I just don't see how the facts match the hysteria. So far all we know is that 100 people out of 2 billion have died. Last year alone 34,000 people died in the USA from the flu according to the CDC. Yes 34k! Our hysteria is really displaced. Until we get more information about the Corona virus, we should just chill and protect ourselves from the flu.

  74. @NYCMD As a physician I understand the vigilance. This virus is an unknown, being sequence identified first time in human history. There is the unknown of the virus transmission rate and natural history. There is an unprecedented population density in China. There is the unprecedented railroads and other infrastructures that Chinese have built between China and Africa, which could put Africa at risk. There is the unprecedented change in global climate environment. We do not have a vaccine or a targeted antiviral treatment for the Wuhan Coronavirus whereas we have for the influenza virus. We are also dealing with the Chinese government which has a long history of secrecy and media suppression. These are just some of the unknowns. We know the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths of the Wuhan epidemic dwarf that of the influenza flu, but the novelty of the virus and the unpredictable geopolitical structures cause close vigilance. Not panic. Vigilance.

  75. @Joanna Thank you for taking the time to shed light on the numerous 'unknowns' I had not given a thought to. My hope is the W.H.O. declaration results in the assenblance of all nations to confront this virus with the vigilance you speak of.

  76. @NYCMD I have to question your public health knowledge. This is about a geometric progression of a disease for which we have no treatment or immunization. It is like the flu was in 1918 when 30% of the world population contracted it and 10% of those died. It is very irresponsible of you to undermine that if you are a physician. Real physicians have been dealing with variants of the coronavirus for years. We know we have no treatments. We know we have no immunization. We know it kills weaker victims. That is all we need to know to know the need to stop it early.

  77. Coronavirus as if I needed another reason not to eat bat.

  78. @KR I'm switching to Dos Equis from Corona, especially with the Superbowl coming up.

  79. @KR I keep re-reading your comment because it continues to bring forth a feel-good burst of laughter. A little levity is so good for the soul!

  80. @KR A good chuckle. But, seriously, we should treasure bats and not eat them. They are such beautiful and useful creatures. Can't say that about many humans.

  81. We were just at a hospital in Northern California and a Chinese family believes one of their members has the virus and the entire family wanted to be checked out. This virus is here now. If this virus is spreading so easily how do we not know now these hospitals might be infected. There needs to be more information by our government about this. Should we move our family member out of this hospital immediately?

  82. I just went to the clinic to get a routine lab test. Before I could get the test, I was instructed to put on a mask for the duration of the process. We have a county-wide order for that in force in Santa Clara County, CA. I specifically asked if it was because of the coronavirus from Wuhan and the answer was, "Yes."

  83. Since I was a boy, when I understood what the human population growth curve was, I have been aware that life cannot sustain itself according to this data. So what will give? Will we really end up with 30, 40, 50 billion people on this planet? I think not. I think that is beginning to play out now. Climate disasters, unchecked disease (whether it’s Coronavirus or the next, more invasive and deadly one) habitat competition. That the US is currently led by persons who see they have a way out of this that we regulars don’t, or they are just blind, plain stupid (which is their front now), doesn’t really matter. That they don’t give a gosh darn about anything other than their self interest, that’s enough for me to at least determine who the ‘enemy’ is. They don’t live in far lands, with exotic needs (you know, a roof, adequate nutrition, education for their kids and some sense of personal safety - you know, exotic), no they live right under your noses.. So the guy who writes this article: sure don’t panic. Do a whhatsboutism with it and ignore the fact that the underlying disease is not the threat. It’s that the next one and the kne after that will, sooner or later, in a cull of large proportions. Blame the deniers, the minimizers, the stupid.

  84. @Jeff Ayre - ah, pre-jackpot murmers

  85. The SARS (coronavirus) outbreak took 1,150 lives in total, worldwide. Influenza has taken between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010, in the USA alone! Is the coronavirus a big deal? Kinda, but this is being blown WAY out of proportion.

  86. It just started.

  87. @Sipperd There was a time when AIDS had a very small cohort of victims. It became a monster.

  88. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus had no similar precident whatsoever to help predict outcome so this is an apple compared to an orange. The corona virus in contrast has had two highly similar outbreaks, SARS AND MERS which collectively have taken only 2,000 lives total worldwide ever. Influenza has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the USA in just the last ten years.

  89. Just think in eight months if this spreads we may be in the midst of a global pandemic, complete with a global economic recession and closed borders worldwide. This definitely could have a huge effect on the election, with Trump wielding emergency powers during the election.

  90. We can hope that Trump will catch it though.

  91. I wish I shared the optimism of the posters claiming this is less damaging than the flu. From my perspective, I’m afraid it’s an order of magnitude greater. The flu doesn’t kill 1% - this year I believe fatalities are 0.006% - infectious, but not as deadly. By contrast, this new virus has now reported 172 deaths out of more than 8,000 cases - that’s a fatality rate of more than 2%. It appears to spread extremely rapidly and of course, the population has no immunity. The real fear of pandemics is that they overwhelm and crash the very medical systems that are designed to provide us protection. This appears to be happening in Wuhan - hospitals are turned to sites of cross-contamination. As for the magnitude, 2% may not sound like much - until you apply it to the American population of 327 million. 2% would kill 6.5 million Americans, overwhelm our healthcare system and spread panic and economic stagnation. God forbid that should happen. For my part, I’m just hoping that China and the WHO’s response is strong enough.

  92. The coronavirus crisis is exacerbated by the Chinese government’s withholding or suppressing of vital information necessary to limit the virus’s spread. As the virus has already reached our shores, what confidence can we have as Americans that the misleader-in-chief and his corrupt administration will be truthful with us about this evolving pandemic? Especially, God-forbid, if that information is damaging to “trump’s economy” or his re-election campaign.

  93. And what is the Grifter’s plan to make America safe from this virus? Not a word yet but rest assured that when he travels to Iowa tonight, he will not mention it.

  94. Finally WHO done a great thing.........

  95. Can someone please tell me: Am I supposed to run down the middle of the street, shrieking at the top of my lungs and waving my arms over my head, with a similarly-panicked mob — or is this something one can do solo? Judith Martin is silent on the subject.

  96. People saying about the flu kills more people than anything... yes it’s true but.... I’m pretty sure they have the flu in Wuhan as well but they don’t shut down the entire city full of millions of people. Maybe this a lot worse than what Chinese government is telling you. Or what our doctors here in the US who have not even seen this virus yet are saying. China is very advanced now so this should be taken seriously. It seems there was way more people initially infected before we even were told about the situation.

  97. @Mike I suspect the shut down happened for two reasons: 1. The government not wanting to appear complacent after what happened with SARS. 2. Just by chance, this happened during new year, when huge numbers of people travel, and most everything grinds to a halt anyway. It is easy to impose a shut down on an already closed city. Absent those two conditions, I the actual reaction would be quite different, as it was during SARS (which didn't begin in the new year period). So its entirely about timing and perception, and not about the actual situation.

  98. @Murthwaite I’m also sure that Stanford Medical will allow you into their ER with just the flu. What I just witnessed there was the family was not allowed in the ER and was taken back a different way. If this is not worse than the flu I don’t get why a doctor came out in a special suite.

  99. @Mike The flu kills more people in absolute terms yes, but that's because 10%-20% of the population get the flu annually (it's mostly estimates, since most people don't seek medical treatment for the flu). So we are potentially talking about 700 million+ cases of the flu each year, globally, so yeah, of course it kills more people.

  100. As an ardent reader and active participant in the column for comments of The New York Times about one and a half decade, I could experience the contribution of NYT has been praiseworthy in alerting the concerned whenever there is an outbreak of the virus of Ebola,Corona or any other natural disaster in any part of the world. On the day of outbreak of Corona virus,the probabilities of the carriers highlighted by interacting with the scientists who are on the research to pinpoint the source of this corona virus, Bamboo cats (impressive you tube) ,bats,snakes -- by NYT was a main thread to further research on the subject. When we caution about the tape worm in an inadequately boiled meat of a pig, why don't the scientific community review the mode of cooking of many of the items starting from cockroach,bamboo cat to big cat for the safe heaven of the virus that is cataclysmic threat to the human life on the planet. Need of the hour is a research on the various incubators of the deadly virus in the animal kingdom who are tempting the inhabitants of the land of the origin of the virus as a source of delicious for dining in its form but destructive in its function.

  101. Hopefully the appropriate global responses are not politicised now that the WHO have taken this step and that medical and associated subject matter experts are left to do their jobs without blockages and interference.

  102. This epidemic doesn't scare me. My fellow americans scare me, particularly the ones in Washington DC employed by the government. For the past three years, despite 50 million americans being without health insurance they have tried to add another 25 million to the uninsured ranks by repealing the affordable care act. Only the lonely thumbs down of John McCain saved those people and we lost him. The other group of Americans that scare me work for the media. They constantly present the idea of America having a system similar to Germany, France or the Netherlands as "Communism" The call second tier candidates blatantly pandering to big insurance for the cash they have to offer — "moderates." I'm sorry but the time for universal healthcare was several decades ago and we have just been skimming along on luck and a prayer for the past half century. If there really is a serious pandemic (this doesn't look like te one) our system is so riddled with holes, with tens of millions falling through the safety net that, well come on — it won't hold up in a real emergency, even if we had intelligent people in government who understood the science, and we don't do we? The fear being generated here is from a very sound understanding of the american system by the american people themselves. We know we haven't done right by each other, and we know we aren't going to. We just never thought we'd have to pay a price for it.

  103. @Arthur All the health insurance policies in the world won't protect a single person from this disease. Only 2 things can protect us from this disease. One doesn't exist yet, a vaccine. So, the only thing left are protective measures to prevent contact with the disease.....protective gear like face masks, protective practices like hand washing, and avoiding contact with infected persons (travel bans and quarantines). But the political/social agenda of many persons is to jeopardize our health and even our lives for their political/social agenda. Therefore, there is no travel ban and the disease just keeps on coming to infect us.

  104. I like my private health insurance

  105. @Errol You're presenting a false argument. Don't pretend insurance isn't what determines who gets care and what level of care they get — it's exactly like that in America. A system we have which is unique in the developed world. Good treatment for well insured people. Bad or no treatment for uninsured people. Even vaccines for preventable diseases are not offered for free or even reasonable rates. Try to get vaccinated for all the majors without health insurance. I dare you. People with out insurance do not receive the same level of preventative care or treatment as those with it. Often they are denied care completely because of their inability to pay. They suffer and die from it. Our system will do the same with this virus. Rich and upper middle class will get the intensive care they need in the hospital to fight off the pneumonia, the poor will not. Ditto if a vaccine emerges. They won't hand it out for free. It will be available for purchase and those who cant afford it will be told it's their own fault by people like you.

  106. A woman returned to Chicago from China on January 13. She showed symptoms of coronavirus 3 or 4 days after her return and was hospitalized on January 24. Today January 30 it was announced her husband has symptoms. So I infer that this disease has almost a 2 week incubation period. Many people think the seasonal flu kills 1 percent of those it infects. That is not true. The flu kills .1 percent. That means one in one thousand sick people will die. The coronavirus kills 2 percent of those infected. That means 2 in one hundred, or 20 in one thousand will die. So the coronavirus is 20 times worse than regular flu.

  107. @M Davis we don’t yet know the true case fatality rate. 2% of identified patients have died (or thereabouts), but the true case number is believed to be much higher owing to mild cases going unrecognized, which would bring the fatality rate down - and potentially considerably.

  108. @BBB : The same could be said of influenza. I've literally *never* been tested for influenza in my life and I'm pushing 50. Comparing reported cases and reported deaths is still useful, while acknowledging the flaws in the underlying datasets.

  109. @M Davis hid under your bed ?

  110. Abolish, not just temporarily close, live animal markets. WHO must work with China to educate the population that buying and eating rare and endangered animals doesn't promote virility or indicate high economic status, but rather spreads serious illness!

  111. @Rebecca They've been doing that for centuries. A reminder: the 1918 "Spanish Flu" originated, so far as we know, from a US army training base in Kansas! It killed 50 to 100 million.

  112. There is no way to contain this to China. This one or the next one. Just like the common cold or the flu, the transmission is not in the air, it is when it is on a hand, the hand touches something, and then another hand touches the same thing. How many Chinese hand prints are all over almost every consumer item. We are so dependent on world trade, from phones to food ingredients. So, we are all in this together. And it is time to face that, and be thankful the Chinese Government is sharing info and asking assistance of the CDC. Now we have to hope that our own medical researchers have not been too diminished by the retreat in funding and support of our GOP controlled government.

  113. @Marika H Yep, if we had been far more well funded than we are now (which isn't bad but definitely diminished to the Clinton years) we'd have had some predictions of drugs within a few hours. As it is, we had to get a paper done today and then we're working on it slowly. We were able to do SARS much faster because we had more funding then. The US in general is slowly giving up on its goal to be dominant in research. It's sad to see.

  114. this was to release funds

  115. Last week he WHO refused to declare an international emergency and cited the economic interests of China. Thus, the WHO proved itself just another corrupt UN agency serving the political agenda of a few preferred nations (which are always nations other than the US or Israel).

  116. @Errol Ah yes, the US and Israel are the model of noncorruption with Trump and Netanyahu. C'mon... I think the WHO did the right thing. The # of cases known then wasn't enough. I still think they are too early and it is only a guidance.

  117. "So, I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.." Commerce Seretary, Wilbur Ross Does he own a chain of funeral homes?

  118. The WHO calls this virus "Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)" as the official name. By calling this "Wuhan coronavirus" you are perpetuating a false name, false information, and fanning the flames of xenophobia.

  119. @HM : It's "fanning the flames of xenophobia" to use the term that people are using? It makes sense for a disease that arose in a place-based way (as this one did) to be referred, colloquially, by the place it arose. The official/medical term is not what people use in everyday speech. Heck, it's barely pronounceable.

  120. @HM We call a lot of Ebola strains Marburg, Reston, Zaire, etc. It's fine to call a virus by the name of the place it originated.

  121. @RamS Sure, once the WHO or CDC officially add the location to the name of the virus.

  122. And why does the WHO still show China as very high risk and the rest of the world as "at risk?"

  123. I grew up in an era where we thought we knew all the infectious diseases. Then we had Legionnaires. Then AIDS, Ebola, Marburg, SARS, and others. Nature is firing shots across the bow of humanity. We would do well to take everything seriously, because we hav no idea what is going to come next, and one of these will have a high infection rate, a high mortality, and all the money in the world won't help a bit. It's one way nature controls population.

  124. @Mike S. I recommended the series "Pandemic" on Netflix. Really interesting exploration of these issues and how certain health care systems and governments are prepared (or not) to handle the big one when it comes.

  125. We have a person who is currently quarantined in a local Las Vegas hospital that may be infected. LV has a large Chinese population and an international airport with millions of Asian visitors each year, that isn't being monitored for the coronavirus. It's only a matter of time before the virus spreads everywhere. Very frightening in so many ways (health, world economics, etc). Forget about a nuclear bomb ending the world, a rouge virus will do the trick nicely.

  126. @Valerie: A red virus, ya mean? What's that? Duh...

  127. Wonder what our leaders are doing at such a critical time other than wasting time on an impeachment case that was a lost case from the get go. Need to take the measures to prevent the spread the virus. Need to ramp up manufacturing of masks, hazmat suits, protective supplies. Researchers should be working around the clock to find a vaccine. Need to think about the manufacturing and supply chain for the vaccine. Need to anticipate disruptions to food supply and critical supplies. Need to anticipate overloading of medical facilities. What is the US government doing today to protect the American people and to help people in China and elsewhere? The media is not even reporting that more than 1300 passengers are in critical condition, which is in the minutes of WHO meeting today. Wonder if our government is aware we live in year 2020, and we expect better performance on dealing with epidemics.

  128. @Dulcinea : 1300 passengers in critical condition? What do you mean? Are these passengers who have returned to wherever they reside after visiting Wuhan? Also, if this is in the WHO minutes, can you provide a link for citation? This is a serious claim that is best not made without a link for verification.

  129. @Rose don’t’ pic on words she meant patients. Survival rate is 2percent so far

  130. @Rose Here is the link, which is available on the WHO site. Our media is occupied with an irrelevant impeachment soap opera, the reporters don't read the numbers. https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov) The minutes state: "There are now 7711 confirmed and 12167 suspected cases throughout the country. Of the confirmed cases, 1370 are severe and 170 people have died. 124 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital." The question is how severe are the 1370 cases. If these people are in an ICU connected to life support, that changes the whole picture. Also, please note Chinese authorities cannot confirm the suspected cases because they ran out of testing kits.

  131. Is there any way to guesstimate the real number of deaths? We only hear China’s official stats—we know they’re fudged. Don’t we have any spies over there? Any intel?

  132. I have a feeling that this virus has been around much longer than the Chinese Government is acknowledging. A friend from Hong Kong told me that there were rumors of a new virus in mainland China as far back as the end of October and beginning of November. This virus has had a huge head start. I fear that what we're seeing in Canada and other countries around the world in just the tip of an incredibly dangerous ice berg.

  133. @Jerome If so, we'd be seeing far more cases and deaths.

  134. @HotGumption Perhaps the Chinese Government is low balling the numbers.

  135. The last WHO situation report (#10) on the coronavirus was updated just after midnight on the 30th, here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports. the risks are still listed as high risk in China and at risk for the rest of the world. No global emergency here The current CDC report shows 92 untested samples. On the 29th, it was 73, as it was the day before

  136. Why no references to the fact that Tedros praised China’s prompt actions to limit the spread and reiterated that WHO is opposed to any trade or travel restrictions???

  137. @MJ Liang See paragraph 12.

  138. Why the article does not mention the death rate is pretty typical of useless fear mongering. My best guess yesterday was about 1 to 2 percent. Highish but not panic worthy. The real value the Chinese authorities and the rest of the living things on the planet may reap from this will be a long overdue willingness of Asians to accept a crackdown on "wild meats" and accept rules about not ingesting everything that creeps, crawls, and wiggles if it some crackpot claims it enhances beauty or sexual virility. If they want to be members of the first world, then they can darn well learn to exist on a diet of high-fructose corn syrup like the rest of us!

  139. @Coldnose I RECOMMEND this a THOUSAND times! So true!

  140. @Coldnose Yes, if I remember SARS killed about 10%. So far this new virus is not even approaching that level.

  141. @Coldnose About 8,000 people in this country gave a already died this season of good old everyday flu.

  142. Oh my, by my count we now have the following emergencies: Health Climate Political Trust Economic Inequality Truth I'm sure I'm missing some, can you think of more?

  143. @Minskyite , none that would be useful to list here at present. Looking for hope and help, and taking the action we can is better than listing our woes. We certainly gain nothing by despair.

  144. @Minskyite The loss of American Democracy after watching Republicans conduct a sham trial with no witnesses or documents.

  145. @Minskyite If we could fix the Political we would have a better shot at the others.

  146. And Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross says this is good for the US economy. As a nurse of many decades, his words are inhumane and indicative of the demeanor of our current administration.

  147. @MIMA I agree with you. It's like saying the morticians are happy for the extra business.

  148. @MIMA I don't think they are inhumane, just indicative of the ignorance rampant within the Cabinet, including the Sec of HHS Piot is correct with his comment and unfortunately the CDC follows the same isolated thought process. I suggested 2 weeks ago that their process of taking forehead temps on certain airlines returning from China was feeble and plain stupid.

  149. Not defending the man but his comments were taken out of context. In fairness, he went to extraordinary lengths prior to that particular statement to express his compassion for the situation. Watch the full interview.

  150. My heart goes out to the Chinese people.

  151. @Jim Anderson Thank you for this simple and humane response.

  152. @Jim Anderson They are victims of nature. Their gov may have been a little slow, but they are victims of nature. As all of us are at one point or another.

  153. Quick thought- will air filters in all the planes that provided transportation to/from and within China be changed or disinfected? Not just a 'cleaning' of the interior of the plane? Viruses have an ability to survive on surfaces.

  154. @Suzie Q Air should not be recirculated in airplanes. It is a design flaw that should be changed.

  155. I don't buy it. such drastic measures for what? so, there is a virus. we survived lots of them. this is more politics and over the top news cycle than health .

  156. Wow, Dr. W.H.O. that took quite a long time.

  157. @Daniel Kinske its bigger not the inside....

  158. The South China Morning Post( HK’s lead newspaper) just reported an increase in the confirmed case total to 9480 from the previous 8,236 and more importantly the death total jumped from 171 to 213. This 42 death increase is significant because the total had been at 171 for a few days. Not good at all!

  159. Why does this whole thing sound like the plotline from the movie Contagion. Hearts and prayers with China and all of us.

  160. And 8,000 people have already died in this country of "regular" flu just this season.

  161. @HotGumption A better comparison would be the 1917-1918 flu season.

  162. I'm just here for the xenophobic trolls

  163. People who compare the threat to modern flu outcomes where we have treatments and immunizations must have graduated from Trump University. Coronavirus is like the flu in terms of symptoms and fatalities but without the treatments or immunizations available. That means pandemic coronavirus today is like pandemic flu in 1918 when 30% of the world population was infected and 10% of those died.

  164. @Irish There's no real treatment for the flu (antivirals may mitigate its effects if given early), and the vaccine offers very partial protection for a limited time.

  165. @Marie The point being that your body does have a memory and learns the patern of the virus so to speak. It may not be ready for the specific flu but it knows enough to adapt in a healthy body. In this case we have never been exposed. What happened when the Indians were exposed to colonists from Europe. We have no immunity to it so our bodies will have to figure it out the hard way from scratch.

  166. As ever, let’s hope the dopey Republicans and especially their leaders, get this. Don’t worry censors, I mean I hope they understand.. You know.. they get it. But good.

  167. Well you can rank the response of the governments by the rate of their infections. Thailand with 14 cases of infection; Japan, 11; Hong Kong and Singapore, 10; Taiwan, eight; Australia, Malaysia, and Macau, each with seven; France, five; South Korea, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates, each with four; Canada, three; Vietnam, two; and India, the Philippines, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Finland, each with one. It would be good if they compete to keep the numbers down.

  168. It's a man-made disaster created by the Chinese Communists trying hard to suppress info about the outbreak, arresting doctors who just shared info among private online circles. It was further exacerbated by the a WHO that has been basically bought off by the Chinese government and fought its own experts tooth and nail to delay the warning. The water is also muddied by Western media, exemplified by this report, that never take the above parties to task on their behaviors. These Western media that have been cowed by the Chinese government's denying of access or simply gone gaga over the Chinese government because of their own leftist leanings. It's high time for us to realize the evil nature of the Chinese government and cut it off from the civilized world. It's high time for us to do away with cultural relativism that has done so much damage for over half a century and purify international organizations' top leaderships of corrupt officials from non-democratic nations.

  169. @Fic It's going to be a bit difficult to cut ties with China after the US has literally given them most of our industrial base.

  170. Containment has failed and since the virus is contagious from asymptomatic person to asymptomatic person during the pathogen's incubation period, containment efforts are too little too late as the virus has spread to every province in the PRC which has a population of 1.3 billion. Anyone who rationally thinks the virus can be contained to mainland china is simply foolish as flights from China continue to land all over the globe. Waiting until you have confirmed cases to embargo travel is like closing the door to the barn after the horses have left. Screening people at airports for fevers is better than nothing, but given the 14 day incubation period when persons are infected but subacute or asymptomatic, it is like putting one's finger into a dyke to stop a leak while all around you water flows under and over the dyke. Unfortunately, no nation is prepare to shut down commerce to contain a virus even if they could enforce such restrictions. In the US, the people flown back from Wuhan are only be quarantined for 3 days which is madness given the incubation period. Tests for viral loads yield false positives and false negatives and are never dispositive in regard to the presence of a pathogen in an infected host.

  171. Don’t worry, under King Lord Trump, he’ll be able to shut things down in the US at will. Maybe he’ll colonize diseased people from the border, further ghettoize some democrat leaning city, and then let the colony go in the new ghetto? Just saying.

  172. Trump said is was only a little headache and snuffy nose no big deal.

  173. The comments seeking to trivialize the danger make very little sense. Does anyone really believe that the Chinese Government with the most data and the closet to the actual situation would have taken the drastic measures it has undertaken and suffered the damage to its economy and worldwide embarrassment if this were not a clear and present danger--a deadly threat?

  174. Here in the Philippines, the President just recently banned the flights from Wuhan today. The first case was confirmed yesterday (A Chinese mainlander from Wuhan who have just died travelled to three different places.) Most of the population already demanded a travel ban since the start of the confirmed case from China as it is a given prerogative in our constitution (Art. 3, Section 6, 1987 Constitution) but the whole administration including most of its sycophantic believers from Congress are hesitant because it seems that they do not want to offend their treasonous diplomatic partnership that has already cost us our islands in the West Philippine Sea. It will just be another class war between the poor and those who are privileged considering the state of our healthcare and our government that cares more for their Chinese diplomacy.

  175. @Luis How is the N95 mask inventory doing these days after Taal eruption. Any help from china or us (i.e. 3M)?

  176. So why didn’t Donald Trump immediately stop the Planes from coming to the United States. If Obama had been President, citizen Trump would have been tweeting up a storm on the first day demanding all Planes from China be stopped. Trump as President made a conscious decision to weigh the economic cost of a travel ban with all possible outcomes and advised by his medical specialist decided There was no reason to ban chinese visitors and their deep pockets , In other words he took an educated gamble. If the a virus takes off in the United States and panic and economic turmoil is the result Trump will be blamed. The presidency is like a ship at sea, when the weather changes and the sea gets bumpy everyone looks to the Captain. The wars of the future will not be between humans, but between humans and microbes, and if we don’t get smart and proactive , and pick the most educated leaders the human race doesn’t stand a chance.

  177. Another United Nations related organization that is now obsolete.

  178. The WHO has lately been showing a very troubling tendency of favoritism toward a certain government - first by endorsing questionable traditional medicine, and now by soft pedaling the appropriate response to the coronavirus.

  179. The ordinary flu kills at least 12,000 people each year in the U.S., and at least 290,000 people worldwide. If some new virus comes along and kills a few thousand people, it causes a worldwide panic (and perhaps rightfully so, since we have a flu vaccine and we do not yet have a coronavirus vaccine). But I think it is appropriate for the WHO to give a measured response, rather than a hysterical one.

  180. Panic is never warranted, but it’s worth noting that early indications are this virus is far more lethal than flu based on per cent mortality.

  181. Green, Yellow, & Red warnings are apparently instantly understood due to the popularity of the game of soccer. Overall I am impressed by the international role soccer plays. About the closest thing to an army Uruguay has is its soccer team. I admire Uruguay because it is much like what old hippies believed the United States would be by now. Anyway all nations of any legitimacy do two things: Defend and Educate. Defense from disease is as profound a duty as defense from invading armies. I am sorry for those who have contracted this disease or many other diseases. It is life changing and miserable to lose friends and relations from aggressive and mysterious diseases and our international cooperations ought mimic cooperations between national postal services.

  182. New York had a totally preventable measles outbreak due to ineffective vaccination. Yet when a new virus which closely resembles the common flu strikes, posters here expect China to have identified and contained the virus within days.

  183. The NY measles outbreak was not due to ineffective vaccines it was due to certain communities refusing to get vaccinated.

  184. Hypocrisy paid for by the Chinese government. This is a useless organization protecting no one but big money donors

  185. This is mother nature's remedy for overpopulation and disrespect for the planet by the human species. Let mother nature work her course.

  186. @LVG So you won't get any vaccines? I had my Flu shot. If there's a vaccine for this, I'd get it too. You let Mother Nature take her course in your body. While I'd love to see human population gently decline, I'm not about to wish for a pandemic.

  187. For all the comments about how many Influenza deaths we have compared to this Wuhan coronavirus...and that we are panicking for nothing. Etc. Please keep in mind those flu deaths result from people who refuse to get vaccinated or are seriously health compromised. There is some personal responsibility in that. This novel coronavirus is new so responsible citizens can’t get vaccinated to protect themselves and their society. Which means that the irresponsible Chinese government put humans beings lives at risk, including non Chinese citizens and we the responsible citizens of the world who do get vaccines have no way of protecting ourselves other than to restrict all travel to and from China. This should have been done 2 weeks ago. The Chinese caused this, and this is not a trivial matter. The W.H.O should not be pandering to the Chinese communist party leaders and their economic needs.

  188. I believe the operative phrase is “kow towing”

  189. Countries making decisions (to bar travelers from China, is this case) not based on science, but panic and potential underlying xenophobia?! Utterly shocking.

  190. China is regularly found to be dealing in illegal animal parts, for 'traditional' medicine that address such things as virility. So, elephant ivory, rhino horns, etc. are often found in Chinese markets. The government does nothing about this. One quarter of the world's pigs, were infected with African Swine flu virus, which started in China, but also spread to other parts of the world. This virus jumped from wild animals to humans, yet no one is screaming about the fact that these live markets, continue in China. I have been to China, every single day was a challenge, trying to find safe food, trying to avoid being spat upon, trying to walk around people defecating on the street...yes, in Beijing and Shanghai. If the W.H.O. is going to declare an emergency, then they have to address these issues and hold the Chinese government to account. Animals in these markets are held in horrible conditions, these need to be shut down. And this extends to other countries, where over crowded Chinatowns flout local laws. It's not enough to take people's temperatures, there have to be efforts to educate and stop allowing the torture of animals for human consumption.

  191. The level of hysteria, conspiracy theories, and outright nuttiness in some comments is perhaps more frightening than the unknowns of the CoronaVirus. Every year in the world the flu kills between 300K and 600K; U.S. figures are about 60K annually. The Corona flu has been around about two months and has killed about 200 people. Will it get worse? Probably, sadly, but thus far, we see no reason for outright terror. Someone here brought up the flu of 1918 which killed about 50,000,000 people worldwide. That flu, in a more nightmarish fashion, killed mostly young healthy medically sound individuals. It spared the infants, the elderly, and many of the sick. It was the cytokine storm of the person's own inflammatory processes that led to the deaths in millions of cases. In other words, the immune system went into overdrive and overwhelmed the otherwise young and healthy bodies of those who were ill. The CoronaV has thus far followed the pattern of most other flu epidemics which kill the old, and medically compromised. Of course, this flu may mutate again, but at this point, it does not provide any evidence of doing so. So everyone should just chill, and, yes, wash their hands with soap and warm H2O.

  192. This whole epidemic is really important. Yes, it may seem dramatized because of the Flu statistics, but this is spreading way faster than that infection, and is killing faster than the Flu ever has. Also, the Flu has a cure, and Chinese doctors are working round the clock, having to turn away patients with the amount of effected they're getting, with no cure or treatment plan in sight. Please don't disregard the vitality of the issue with claims of dramatization.

  193. @tory Where are you getting this information? And since when does the flu have a cure? There are antiviral medicines that can shorten the duration of the flu by 1 day. Surely you aren't calling that a cure?

  194. @AK I think Tory means vaccine not cure.

  195. We are depending on the openness of the Communist Dictatorship of China to make the world aware of the danger of the most recent coronovirus. The fact that China is now admitting that control of the virus is problematic probably means that the situation is much worse than is being reported. This coupled with the incompetence of the Trump Administration should give us concern that the information currently provided to the public is probably less than complete.

  196. I don’t think it’s 10,000 cases. There are probably 10,000 people in an average Chinese mall. Hate to sound totally paranoid, but I bet the numbers are much higher.

  197. The death rate of the coronavirus is probably much lower than 2% as is computed from the current number of confirmed cases and the number of death, because there is likely to be a much larger base of people who have been infected, but have not been tested because their symptoms were not severe enough. This puts the new coronavirus closer to the flu than to other more deadly virus like SARS, MERS, Ebola. We should be prepared for the possibility that this new coronavirus cannot be contained and we have to learn to live with it. Attempts to eradicate it will be futile and extremely costly, just as any attempts to eradicate the flu will be.

  198. I am hoping for no panic in the US. From what I read about the Spanish Flu, there was not panic then, and hundreds died in my city. Schools and theaters were shut for a while. But they didn't have social media in 1919 to spread misinformation. Could get ugly.

  199. About time.

  200. The title of this article is scary and alarming. . " W.H.O declares Global Emergency as Wuhan Coronavirus Spreads" "The announcement came as nearly 10,000 cases have been reported worldwide, almost all of them in mainland China". 10,000 is not a small number. Also, the WHO says " The declaration comes now because of fears that the coronavirus may reach countries with weak health care systems, where it could run amok, potentially infecting millions of people and killing thousands." I started worrying about India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, the African countries, all those countries with huge population, weak health care systems and poor sanitary conditions This illness can really run amok in those countries. How are they going to handle that?

  201. @Padman Sorry, but 10,000 is a very (very very) small number in fact. Last year over 400,000 died of Malaria (forget contracted)... We all need to get some perspective and start asking the most important question: Why is the media making this so much bigger than it actually is?

  202. @Padman In other news, Trump cuts the CDC budget.

  203. Apart from being considered one of the great acrobats of the time, Bruce Lee was also a very early campaigner for gay rights (a fact which seems to escape the public consciousness). In an incredible coincidence, Mr Lee described himself as being "fully confident and capable of winning the battle against this epidemic" of homophobia. One wonders whether Bruce Lee's heroic stand against prejudice might be applied in the effort to contain this coronavirus epidemic. As the great Buce Lee said, "Let the love of good men fill your void".

  204. I sat down tonight and did some research and found the following: -video footage of an overworked Chinese hospital medic in a hazmat suit having a meltdown because he's terrified of this -video footage of Chinese medical workers carrying corpses off the streets of sick people who have literally dropped dead in public -video footage of Chinese soldiers with machine guns and hazmat suits enforcing quarantine policy. Looks like a scene out of half-life. If the virus isn't a big deal why the hazmat suits? -statistically the disease is spreading rapidly. Much faster than SARS. On Jan 20th there were 278 confirmed cases... now there nearly that many deaths. This is not your average virus, and for whatever reason the US news is not giving this the attention it deserves. I guess impeachment brings in more traffic.

  205. @Jon All that was missing from your footage was the infected people stumbling around the streets in search of fresh brains. Unsourced material from the internet is unreliable.

  206. @Herne While individual reports may not be reliable, there are any number of reports stating the same thing. a number of virologists around the world have expressed concern about this virus and there have been reports from at least two locations of Chinese efforts to steal corona virus samples from other level 4 labs in the west - Canada and the US. Unfortunately mainstream media does NOT report what is happening - or the truth about what is happening - for many stories. They may be under pressure from governments, or may simply want to keep the population calm. The fact that such reports ARE surfacing is in itself significant. China does all it can to control what gets on social media. One has to wonder about what has NOT gotten past censorship. Whatever the truth - and it is likely to be far more involved that what is being reported - the actions being taken indicate that those 'in charge' are very worried about what's happening.

  207. @Jon K... Turn off the movie. Nice try.

  208. As an objective and responsible mainstream media, NYT, please make the name of the coronavirus right - it’s called novel coronavirus, not “Wuhan coronavirus”, not “China coronavirus”. We already have enough hate in this world.

  209. @MM it isn't about hate, it's about identifying quickly and succinctly what we're talking about. I don't want to have to say 2019-nCoV every time I ask someone about it, it's far easier to say 'Wuhan virus' or 'Wuhan coronavirus'. The idea that that's about hate is like saying "bird flu" is anti-bird, or MERS is anti-Middle Eastern.

  210. Wasn't yesterday that it was reported approximately 800 cases & only 16 deaths? Now they're saying 200 deaths. I can understand why people are freaking out.

  211. Great article; however, it states that “No deaths have yet occurred outside China.” It would be much more accurate to say that “no deaths have yet been REPORTED to have occurred outside of China.”

  212. I have not been to the specific animal markets that this article mentions but I have seen others. It is the most horrible place I have ever been to. In every instance there are animals of all species with absolute terror and frenzy in their eyes and I simply will never go back to these places of death. Is it possible this virus is mother nature’s payback for inflicting so much misery on animals who simply want to coexist in the same world that we live in? As much as we congratulate ourselves as being masters of the universe there needs to be a larger voice for these animals and their rights to live too.

  213. Dear All, What you need to focus on isn’t death rates because the virus didn’t run it’s course, what is important is survival rate 2 percent so far

  214. It's high time we inform all the medical institutes for finding a medicine. though health experts from WHO said that, it would take a month or two to manufacture and test the medicine, a good medical student would suggest a immediate solution with their fresh thoughts. Just like Vikram lander found by an Indian engineering student which was sent on to the Moon and lost its communication with us.

  215. Apparently, any criticism of the Chinese Markets is considered hate speech, hate writing....whatever.

  216. So far the response from all governments and other organizations has been remarkably consistent. It has always been too little, too late. And it shows no sign of changing. The only country that seems to be taking this outbreak seriously is North Korea. They had the sense to close their borders at the first sign of trouble. Whereas the WHO wants to encourage the Chinese to go on more international trips for the vitally important reasons of tourism and promoting cultural understanding, in the middle of an epidemic. 'No travel restrictions, no flight cancellations' they bleat, while the death toll keeps mounting.

  217. re NK, their borders could hardly have been characterized as open to begin with.

  218. China finished building a level 4 biohazard lab - The Wuhan Virology institute - in 2017. Concerns were expressed about this facility's location and security at the time. Research on corona viruses is being conducted at this facility. As of November they were seeking to hire one or two post-doc fellows, who will use "bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases." More information on this facility and the work being done there seems warranted.

  219. @Anthony Tsang Can you clarify your evidence that they long knew about it?

  220. Don't know how fast the virus is spreading or how well the health authorities are reacting to the situation across the globe. What is obvious is misinformation, panic and unreasonable and hateful comments are spreading thick and fast. WHO has reacted appropriately - they had stated the situation needs review when they initially declined to declare a global emergency and now they have done so after the virus had been found in more countries. WHO is not there to speculate. They act based on measurable facts. If the WHO's response was late and inadequate, it is because facts about the infection has not been placed before if by the authorities. It doesn't help to be cynical about anything and everything especially at this hour of crisis.

  221. With now 10,000 cases and 200 deaths, we can safely assume the case fatality rate of the new coronavirus is much lower than 2% given the probable large number of undiagnosed cases. Compared to SARS (11%), Ebola (50%), H5N1 bird flu (60%), this virus hardly seem worth the constant media and medical attention. Statistically speaking, people are so much more likely to die from the common flu (12K-61K deaths annually in the US, more than half a million deaths globally every year, CDC data) than this virus. Every year, fewer than half of all Americans get the flu shot. But alas, few will pay attention to these clear statistics that point to the little danger posed by this virus in our daily lives. Many more will believe the conspiracy theories and the "experts" they find on Youtube telling them to drink bleach. Panic rules the day, fanned by the constant unneeded media attention, including from the NYT. I'm sure there's gonna be a run on masks at my local Walgreens soon enough but no shortage of flu vaccines that people actually need...

  222. @Pal Flu deaths per infected. 61000 deaths divided by 45 million people infected. That's about 00.14 percent. It's not even 1 percent. This virus per infected. 213 deaths divided by 9800 people is at 2.17 percent. So if you work in a building with 100 people who caught this 2 of them would likely die. This of course doesn't include the trauma damage for survivors. The fact that is less deadly and takes so long to show signs seems like it has a high chance to spread to me. Especially if it spreads like the flu and we have no immunity to it.

  223. @Pal I could not agree more. The media is doing a terrible job of modulating the relative harm here. Climate change, malaria, and cigarettes, to name only a few, are all orders of magnitude more harmful... just not as effective as getting those clicks i suppose.

  224. The world has met many such challenges and I am sure, this challenge too would be met effectively. What is required is sharing of even minute details, both ways, viz., weakness and strength of the virus. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to make some quick money, pharmaceutical companies too should come out with cheap and affordable medicine to tackle this virus. May the Almighty show us the way.

  225. It is being reported that this disease originated in a "wildlife" market. What is a wildlife market ?

  226. Where they openly sell wolves and exotic and endangered animals illegally as food, contributing directly to the demise of the natural world, along with Chinese treatment of Ughurs, and Tibet, which China would love to do to Americans too.

  227. @countykerry contagion

  228. Like China, the W.H.O. has done far too litter, far too late. Even now, they are hedging their bets at a time when lightening speed actions, following Hong Kong's example of halting border crossings from China until the coronavirus is better understood. Iceland is an example of a country at great risk but is still grossly slow in responding. In spite of its enviable position of being a remote island with its own energy supplied, the number that visit Iceland has surged from 4,000 to over 130000 in just 6 years. Because of its economic dependency on Chinese tourism, Iceland has so far been unwilling to put any pause on entry. Meanwhile, the country has only one hospital that is already overtaxed and would, I believe, collapse under a coronavirus outbreak. And following the W.H.O. politically correct lead is not helping any!

  229. @Long Live Glaciers Oops, meant to write: "...lightening speed actions are required, following, for instance, Hong Kong's example.." and ".....the number of Chinese tourists that visit Iceland has surged...."

  230. The reaction to this epidemic has been too little, too late, beginning in China and spreading to the rest of the world as it allowed plane flights to continue. We have to avoid the unreasoning panic of the kind we saw with Ebola, but we have to avoid a pandemic as well. A quarantine period should have been required for flights from China, which would have protected those who needed to travel while discouraging unnecessary movement. Now there is a real danger of a pandemic.

  231. When the news of the outbreak could no longer be contained, China moved quickly to show the world their aggressive measures. But the entire problem lies with China's lack of news transparency, party mentality including but not limited to aggressive coverups. Had the world jeard about the "rumors" in late December (started by certain informed doctors and low ranking officials) that China tried very hard to conceal, an entire population could be on high alert on things like personal hygiene, putting a stop on the eating of wild animals, implementing early hence effectual medical isolation etc., we'd all be in a vastly different situation.

  232. This is the Year of the Rat in Chinese Lunar calendar. Coronavirus is a bad start of the year for China. However, this crisis will be over regardless. Things will get better. Being a good friend of Xi Jinping, the successful reelection of Donald Trump will be a friendly ending of the year for China.

  233. This is starting to look like the 1918-1919 flu pandemic that killed 50 million to 100 million people worldwide, including several of my father's older siblings and other relatives. And that was before widespread international air travel.

  234. @doy1 , we’ve had similar situations with SARS, MERS, and other mutated flu viruses. They were bad enough, but they have, even Ebola has been contained. And we know far more about containment and treatment than in 1918! So no, the Spanish flu is not the first place to go for comparison unless unnecessary panic is a goal.

  235. @doy1 That was because, for the first time in history, millions of people were being transferred from continent to continent in a matter of weeks / months, unlike never before. That, and, of course, a ebullient strain of the flu. After WWI, in which approximately 20 million combatants and civilians perished, up to five times as many died from this illness. It's definitely nothing to take lightly.

  236. @jb, Yes, Ebola was contained - often because it killed people so rapidly it had less chance to spread. But in this case, the 2-week incubation period and the fact that there's no vaccine and many unknowns, raises the risk of widespread contagion.