Will it become a pandemic?

U.S. citizen dies in China, first American fatality



Health experts say a newcoronavirus with origins in Wuhan, China, that has already killed hundreds and sickened thousands of people could become a pandemic — an unsettling and often misunderstood term. 

In the minds of many, the word “pandemic” is closely connected to the 1918 flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told USA TODAY.

But by definition, a pandemic doesn’t require that scale of destruction.

In reality, it’s a loosely-defined term that can prompt overreaction, Fauci said.

Here’s what you need to know about the possible upcoming pandemic of the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV.

Coronavirus:When will the threat of coronavirus end? It might return every winter

What is a pandemic?

A pandemic is a global outbreak of a serious new illness that, by Fauci’s definition, requires “sustained transmission throughout the world.”


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