The continued spread of COVID-19 cases

Poll China Outbreak
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health shows the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (yellow) emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19.

New outbreaks of COVID-19 cases in Iran, Italy and South Korea have officials on high alert as efforts to contain and prevent the spread of the respiratory virus continue. The spread of this strain of coronavirus — which has been classified as a global health emergency — has the potential to become a pandemic, but isn’t at that level yet, according to the head of the World Health Organization. WHO officials believe the illness in China “peaked and plateaued” earlier in February.

Overall, cases have been confirmed in 32 countries.

Host Kerri Miller talked with an epidemiologist about what a pandemic designation would mean, the latest on the spread of the virus and whether it can be contained.


  • Jennifer Nuzzo is an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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