Risk of new coronavirus infection unchanged: WHO
A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman said Wednesday that the risk of the novel coronavirus infection is unchanged but urged health authorities to remain vigilant as it is impossible to predict the future.
"We have not seen sustained human to human (h2h) transmission and three instances of limited h2h transmission do not necessarily mean that there will eventually be sustained h2h transmission," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said in a written interview with Xinhua.
Hartl said that it is impossible to predict the future so "we must remain vigilant."
"WHO has issued a case definition and clinical investigation guidance and these should be used by public health authorities to help them in their work," he said.
WHO updated its revised interim case definition of the new virus Tuesday and requested confirmed and probable cases to be reported to the organization within 24 hours.
The source of the infection is still unknown, said Hartl. He suggested that individuals should do what they would do in any case in coming across a person who is suffering from a cold or flu: practice social distancing.
Britain reported a confirmed case of the new coronavirus infection to WHO on Feb. 11, who had recently traveled to the Middle East and Pakistan. Two of his family members, who didn't travel to other countries recently, were later confirmed for infection.
WHO said the infections offered indications of person-to-person transmission, but "no sustained person-to-person transmission has been identified."
British Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham confirmed on Tuesday that the second case in the family has died, bringing the death toll of the new virus to six.