The virus will likely spread to all countries on the globe, but actions can still limit its impact
The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging what has seemed clear for some time—the virus will likely spread to all countries on the globe.
Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation will worsen.
“We expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.”Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO Director General
As of Wednesday, 114 countries have reported that 118,000 have contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, known as SARS-CoV2. In the United States, where for weeks state and local laboratories could not test for the virus, just over 1,000 cases have been diagnosed and 29 people have died. But authorities here warn continuing limits on testing mean the full scale of spread in this country is not yet known.
The virus causes mild respiratory infections in about 80% of those infected, though about half will have pneumonia. Another 15% develop severe illness and 5% need critical care.