The coronavirus outbreak is an international public health emergency. Here’s what that means.
News Feature
January 30, 2020

The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the  current coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The virus, designated 2019-nCoV, has infected more than 9,800 people in China and killed more than 200, with roughly 140 cases appearing in at least 18 other countries on four continents.

“We are at a crossroads, in which two things are possible,” says Alessandro Vespignani, who directs the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-technical systems at Northeastern. “Either the screening, detection, and isolation in China will be able to contain the epidemic there, or it will be a global issue. And this will be decided in the next couple of weeks.”

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