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Is the World Ready for the Coronavirus? – The New York Times

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The coronavirus outbreak, which began in early December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, had as of Wednesday sickened more than 6,000 people across at least 15 countries and claimed more than 130 lives, all of them in China. Experts don’t yet know how contagious, or how deadly, this new virus is. But the growing crisis has inspired panic. Cities around the world are bracing for a potential wave of infections. Stock and oil prices are tumbling. And experts in just about every global industry are fretting over the many supply chains that could be disrupted — from prescription drugs and surgical masks to rare earth metals — if the outbreak grows into an even wider epidemic.

Given the scope of these anxieties, it’s a wonder more hasn’t been done to prepare for an outbreak like this one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long warned that the rate at which new pathogens emerge is increasing (partly as a result of global warming). The agency identifies new ones every year, and disease outbreaks — especially those involving viruses that leap from animals to humans, as the coronavirus did — are hardly surprising.

China, the center of the current outbreak,…



Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/opinion/coronavirus-outbreak.html

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Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/opinion/coronavirus-outbreak.html

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