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The designation comes as the first person-to-person transmission of the virus is reported in the U.S.
In a news conference Thursday, the director-general of the World Health Organization called the coronavirus outbreak “unprecedented” and declared a global public-health emergency. Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public-health emergency of international concern Thursday as the first person-to-person transmission of the virus was reported in the U.S.
The WHO designation, pointing to an increase in the number of cases, indicates that international public-health authorities now consider the respiratory virus a significant threat beyond China, where it originated last month. The move could further heighten the global response to the outbreak.
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