According to most of the world’s leading transmittable disease experts, the Wuhan coronavirus spreading from China is now likely to develop into a pandemic that circles the globe. Its prospect is really overwhelming. A pandemic— a spreading outbreak on two or more continents — may well have global consequences, with China and other countries, including the United States, which are now enforcing unprecedented travel restrictions and quarantines.
Yet scientists still don’t know how lethal the new coronavirus is, so there’s concern about how much harm the pandemic might do. There is, however, growing consensus that the pathogen is being readily transmitted among humans. The Wuhan coronavirus acts more like the highly transmissible influenza than scientists have found in its slow-moving viral relatives, SARS and MERS.