Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Day 5: In the Gray Zone

According to the WHO (via CNN), the ongoing coronavirus epidemic is not a pandemic:
"We are not in a pandemic," Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of the World Health Organization's Infectious Hazards Management Department said in a press conference on Tuesday, explaining that the virus is currently considered to be an epidemic with multiple locations.

"We will try to extinguish the transmission in each of these," she said, adding that the agency believes this "can be done with containment measures currently in place."
Not everyone agrees, however:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the United States, believes we could be heading toward a pandemic.

"My bottom line is the way this is continuing to evolve every day, it looks like it's heading towards what we would call a pandemic," Fauci said.

But Fauci also said the term itself comes down to semantics -- it "means different things to different people," and that we're in a "gray zone."
One important bit of daily evolution is how the disease made its way through Singapore into Malaysia (via MalayMail) last month:
A Malaysian man has tested positive for the Wuhan virus, the first local to date, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad at a press conference today.

Dzulkefly said the man travelled to Singapore from January 16 to 23 to attend a meeting which had several foreign delegates, including from China.

“He returned to Malaysia on January 23, and on January 29, he received treatment at a private hospital because of fever and cough.
P.S. The United Press reports a twelfth US case in Wisconsin (ex China).

P.P.S. Reuters reports that ten more passengers aboard the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship currently quarantined off Yokohama, have tested positive for novel coronavirus.

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