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The coronavirus outbreak is now a public health emergency of international concern. Here's what that means

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 17:20:57-05

(WXYZ) — As cases of the coronavirus soar in China and the spread continues around the globe, the World Health Organization has declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency. But what exactly does that mean?

I can tell you that it’s not very often that the World Health Organization declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In fact, this is only the sixth time that this agency has declared this.

That’s because this new viral threat has met their definition of what they call an “extraordinary event”. Meaning they believe that it “constitutes a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease”.

So what it boils down to is that this outbreak meets their criteria of a situation that is serious, unusual or unexpected and may require immediate international action.

Officials feel that China is doing more than what they are required to do. Which is good news.

Instead, this is more about coordinating an international response as they feel that the coronavirus is now a significant threat beyond China.

The World Health Organization's main goal is to get countries to work together to contain the coronavirus as fast as possible. Which is important as right now there are 98 cases in 18 countries outside China.

Now their concern is for countries with weaker health systems. Because if this respiratory virus spreads to them, they’re unlikely to be well prepared to deal with this type of pathogen. And it could lead to many more deaths.

Now, the World Health Organization is also advising countries to share information and to make vaccines and treatment a priority. They also want countries to crack down on misinformation.

I know that most of you are well aware of the fact that social media can quickly spread false information and rumors. So please, please, please be aware of what you’re sharing. You want to know where it’s coming from and if it’s from a legitimate source.

This week on the Dr. Nandi Show, Parkinson’s may be life-changing but the diagnosis is not a death sentence. Joining Dr. Nandi, MD is a guest who shares how he once was so disabled with Parkinson’s, he fell down the stairs while holding his 10-month-old son. This frightening experience led to change and now he’s run in over 100 half marathons! Also, experts discuss the effects of Parkinson’s on the body, how successful deep brain stimulation is, and if physical fitness and dance therapy can improve symptoms. Tune in this Sunday, February 2nd at 12:30 pm.