SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The U.S. State Department issued a “Do Not Travel” to China warning Thursday night, hours after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency due to the concern over the global outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus.
This only happened four other times in history. The World Health Organization said their main concern is the virus spreading to other countries with weaker health systems.
The public health emergency declaration allows international resources to be used to help prevent the virus from spreading. There have been no reported cases in Massachusetts.
“Do you pay attention, absolutely,” said Scott Channell of Hatfield. “Do you completely ignore it? No, but do you not go out go to the movies or go on a trip right now no we still do that.”
The WHO reported there are now close to 8,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 99 percent of those cases being in China. All 170 coronavirus-related deaths have also occurred in China.
“This is an overwhelming respiratory infection and there’s no treatment for it,” said Dr. Ira Helfand, at the Family Medical Center. “There’s no specific antiviral that works against this, no medicine has been developed yet there’s no vaccine we just discovered this virus within the last few weeks.”
The agency said there are 100 cases of coronavirus in 18 countries outside of China, including eight cases of human-to-human transmission.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also announced the first human-to-human case of coronavirus in the U.S.