Top WHO official says it’s not too late to stop the new coronavirus outbreak

There is still reason to believe the growing coronavirus outbreak in China can be contained, a top World Health Organization official said Saturday, pointing to some evidence that the disease may not be spreading as rapidly as is feared. He also downplayed reports that people infected with the virus may be contagious before they show symptoms — a feature that, if true, would make it much harder to control.

“Until [containment] is impossible, we should keep trying,” Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s Emergencies Program, said in an interview with STAT. The WHO declared the outbreak a global health emergency on Thursday.

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