The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Now a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Here ’s What That Means

The World Health Organization (WHO) took the rare step Thursday of declaring a novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). But what does that actually mean? The WHO defines a PHEIC as an “extraordinary event” that “constitute[s] a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “potentially require[s] a coordinated international response.” Since that framework was defined in 2005—two years after another coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), spread through China—it has been used only six times: for outbreaks of “swine flu” in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola in 2014, Zika virus in 2016, Ebola in 2019 and, now, coronavirus in 2020. A PHEIC is meant to mobilize international response to an outbreak. It’s an opportunity for the WHO, with guidance from its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, to implement “non-binding but practically &politically significant measures that can address travel, trade, quarantine, screening, treatment. WHO can also set global standards of practice,” the organization tweeted. What does Public Health Emergency of Intl Concern means?WHO issues temporary recommendations. These are non-binding but practically &politically significant measures that can address travel, trade, quarantine, screening, treatment. WHO can also set global s...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized 2019-nCoV public health Source Type: news

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