Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Cases Of The Novel Coronavirus Rise This Week; An International Public Health Emergency Is Declared


The number of confirmed cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to rise. Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) records the current count of total confirmed cases worldwide as 9,776. This virus has spread to more than 20 countries to-date. The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee reconvened on Thursday (1/30) and declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). There have been only five declared PHEICs in the past, including 2009 H1N1, 2014 Polio, 2014 and 2019 Ebola in West Africa, and 2016 Zika.

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are six total confirmed cases in the U.S. Health officials have also confirmed person-to-person spread in the U.S. From federal government agencies to local hospitals and health departments, active preparation is underway to execute an aggressive response to ensure the safety and well-being of Americans.

While many nations prepare for the potential arrival of 2019-nCoV, 62 countries have increased immigration controls, requiring temperature checks and health declarations.

Johns Hopkins 2019-nCoV Map of Global Cases: Source

The WHO encourages nations, as a part of the response, to contribute to their data sharing platform to better understand the nature of 2019 Novel Coronavirus and share intelligence globally.

Airlines around the world continue to reduce and suspend flights to mainland China due to a drop in demand. Delta Airlines will suspend all flights to mainland China from February 6th to April 30th. It has been reported that 20 U.S. airports will implement health screenings to identify travelers that might be ill, especially those on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China.  The Department of State has issued a Level 4 – Do Not Travel advisory status for China as of January 30th.

WHO Guidance on Protecting Against Spread of Viruses : Source 

Proper infection prevention and control practices are key to reducing the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The WHO recommends people wash their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based scrub, avoid close contact with anyone with flu-like symptoms, and thoroughly cook all meats and eggs. Healthcare providers are tirelessly working to control and treat 2019-nCoV cases across the world. There is no current vaccine, but researchers continue to work around the clock on medical advancements to curb the outbreak.

The Hagerty Team will continue to provide information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation.

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