The coronavirus causing SARS-like illness is a growing threat, WHO says

In the past few months, we’ve learned about a major public health threat involving a virus called coronavirus A(S)-114.

The news came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated SARS-like coronavirus (CVH) as a global emergency.

The WHO declared the WHO declared the WHO declared the outbreak as “a public health emergency of international concern,” which opens the door for further WHO and CDC cooperation in fighting the disease.

Here’s everything you need to know about what has happened.

What caused it?

The WHO said in August that testing of evidence from the VICTIS coronavirus revealed that there are two distinct coronavirus isolates (H1- and H3-like) associated with the currently confirmed cluster of cases.

“This is the first time the H1-like candidate corona virus has been associated with humans. This suggests that the two … coronaviruses may carry distinct genetic material and could potentially share the origin of infection. It is possible that these two isolates could come from the same source reservoir,” according to the WHO announcement.

WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who made the declaration, said that in the past 11 months, 57 confirmed cases of human infection have been identified and 21 people have died. Three of the 37 known cases worldwide are occurring in the United States, a CDC spokesperson said.

The cases in the US have been confirmed in 11 patients: five in Michigan, and four in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The cases in the US have been confirmed in 11 patients: five in Michigan, and four in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“Additional cases of human infection with the H1N1 coronavirus may be detected as research continues,” the WHO said.

How does it spread?

“The human coronavirus infection is highly infectious. Coronaviruses are known to spread easily through respiratory droplets and can be spread from person to person in close settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities,” according to the CDC.

The virus is found in the environment and humans may become infected while handling animals.

Cases of the virus in the US have all been associated with short-term isolated travel from a global hotspot and specific respiratory events.

“Cases of newly infected individuals are noted in many countries around the world and often are diagnosed at a hospital or a health care setting where the exposure occurred,” the CDC said.

From this abundance of case data, the CDC said it’s possible that “only a fraction of the cases have recently traveled to or have close contact with individuals with imported infection” and this, in turn, “could understate the number of cases.”

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