Confirming that a small WHO team of international epidemiology experts was expected to visit China “to learn from Chinese counterparts”, Dr Ryan noted that the infection predominantly affects older patients with pre-existing conditions.
“Providing respiratory support (to affected individuals) is very important,” he added, noting that while some deaths were linked to multiple organ failure, very sick patients will survive if they receive sufficient and timely care.
The WHO believes that the outbreak poses a “very high” risk in China and a high risk regionally and globally.
Its risk assessment is based on factors including the likelihood of further spread, the potential impact on human health, and the varying levels of effectiveness in national preparedness and response measures.
Accelerated action, as called for in Wednesday’s appeal, can address these risks and areas requiring support, the agency said in a statement.
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