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WHO raises global coronavirus risk to "very high"

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" Friday, its highest risk level as countries struggle with containing spread of the virus.

The big picture: This week, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized how countries' responses can make or break the chances of preventing more cases. Today, he said the alert "is a reality check for every government. ... The window of opportunity is closing. Wake up."

Go deeper: Full coverage of the coronavirus

Coronavirus updates: WHO raises global threat level to "very high"

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" Friday, its highest risk level as countries struggle to contain it. Meanwhile, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow this morning tried to reassure the markets, which continued to correct amid growing fears of a U.S. recession.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected about 83,800 others in almost 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Your best defense against coronavirus

Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Frequent hand washing can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known preventative for COVID-19 and influenza.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health

Premier League and Series A react to coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Soccer leagues across Europe are reacting differently as the coronavirus spreads, from canceling games to playing in closed-door arenas.

The state of play: The Premier League said it is following advice from the government and has not canceled any of the upcoming games yet. Journalists are being asked about their recent whereabouts prior to a pre-match news conference with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, AP writes. Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said players are not greeting each other via handshake anymore, as a precaution.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Sports

Coronavirus fallout could be worse than the financial crisis

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Guggenheim Partners global CIO Scott Minerd tells Axios the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak could be "worse than the financial crisis."

Why it matters: Minerd called out the "cognitive dissonance" in markets as stock prices hit new all-time highs in mid-February, saying in an open letter that he had never "seen anything as crazy as what’s going on right now."

U.S. schools prepare for coronavirus spread

Vice President Pence and HHS Secretary Alex Azar (left) tour virus operations center yesterday. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Schools across the U.S. are canceling trips abroad, preparing online lessons and even rethinking "perfect attendance" awards as they brace for the possibility that the coronavirus spreads to their communities, AP's Collin Binkley reports.

Why it matters: If schools are forced to close for long stretches, it could have a heavy impact on students who rely on school meals and for parents who use their schools' child care programs.

Go deeperArrow7 hours ago - Health

Seniors' loneliness epidemic

Photo: Duncan Davis/Getty Images

We're failing to address seniors' social isolation, a serious public health threat, according to a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Details: The report concluded that almost a quarter of Americans 65 and older who live in community settings have few relationships or infrequent social contact, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Go deeperArrow7 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus adds stress onto states

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

State health agencies already had enough problems, and now they face the prospect of the coronavirus — which would further stretch their limited resources, Politico reports.

Between the lines: State and local health departments are underfunded and already trying to address a bad flu season, vaping-related illnesses and the opioid epidemic.

Go deeperArrow7 hours ago - Health

Teladoc's coronavirus stock bump

Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Fears about the coronavirus haven't shattered every stock. Look at the telehealth firm Teladoc.

Driving the news: Teladoc's stock price has soared 19% this week and is now valued at almost $10 billion, because apparently Wall Street believes we will only see doctors on our iPads or on the phone as we avoid the outside world.

Go deeperArrow8 hours ago - Health

Whistleblower: Personnel handled coronavirus evacuees without proper training or gear

HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A government whistleblower says the Department of Health and Human Services sent more than a dozen federal health workers to receive the first American evacuees from China amid the coronavirus outbreak without proper medical training or ample protective gear, the Washington Post first reported.

What they're saying: The whistleblower's complaint filed Wednesday alleges that employees were "not properly trained or equipped to operate in a public health emergency situation," potentially exposing them to the novel coronavirus.

Go deeperArrow18 hours ago - Health
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