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 Making the announcement on Twitter, The World Health Organization (the WHO), said it is “too early to declare a public health emergency of international concern given its restrictive and binary nature”. Only five conditions have ever been declared a public health emergency, the highest alarm the WHO can sound. These include the Zika virus and Ebola, which killed more than 13,000 people across two outbreaks.

The previously unknown coronavirus strain triggers flu-like symptoms, including breathlessness and fever. In the most severe cases, victims succumb to pneumonia. If the infection triggers pneumonia, doctors work to combat the complication. “Without treatment the end is inevitable,” said the charity Médecins Sans Frontières.“Deaths occur because of asphyxiation. However, Professor Peter Horby from the University of Oxford claims said there is “no effective anti-viral”, with treatment being “supportive”. 

Market implications

This news should help to support risk appetite which has deteriorated this week with markets factoring in the fear of a pandemic and a public health emergency of international.