World Health Organization Officially Declares Coronavirus Global Emergency

There have been 7711 confirmed cases, with 170 of those turning fatal.


Image via Getty


The mysterious coronavirus has officially been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a virus "identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China," is spreading outside of the East Asian country.

"The main reason is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chief of the World Health Organization, said at a press conference in Geneva, according to the BBC. The WHO is reportedly worried that the fast-spreading virus could hit countries with less developed health systems. Currently, there have been 7711 confirmed cases, with 170 of those turning fatal.

There have been nearly 100 cases in 16 countries outside of China, including 5 in the U.S., but no one has died as of yet. Inside China 170 people have have succumbed to the virus. The CDC in the U.S. is still determining how the virus seems to be spreading, but believes it originally stemmed from animal-to-person contact.

One person actually sees the bright side in the dangerous disease—Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Ross, who appeared on Fox Business News Thursday, was asked his thoughts on the virus and how it would affect the Chinese economy. His answer was ... a bit strange.

"Every American’s heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus, so I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain," Ross said, before switching gears: "It’s another risk factor that people need to take into account, so I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America—some to the U.S., probably some to Mexico as well." What?

Of course, people on social media let him have it:

The Center for Disease Control recently confirmed the United States' first case of person-to-person transmission of the virus; a 60-year-old Chicago woman spread the virus to her husband. She traveled from Wuhan earlier this month.

Latest in Life