WHO Declares Coronavirus A Public Health Emergency

The World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergency on Thursday, as the United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission of the virus.

The declaration states that the world’s top health advisory body thinks the situation is grave, The New York Times reported. Countries can then make their own decisions about closing their borders, canceling flights, screening people arriving at airports or taking other protective measures.

In the United States, the latest coronavirus patient is the husband of a Chicago woman who was the second confirmed case in the United States. She had traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, and fell ill upon her return home. The husband is in his 60s and has underlying health conditions, U.S. health officials said during a media briefing Thursday. Six cases of coronavirus have now been reported in the United States.

“This second patient [the husband] did not travel to China, indicating the first person-to-person transmission of