The World Health Organization holds a press conference on the coronavirus epidemic

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World Health Organization officials hold a press conference Monday to update the public on the coronavirus epidemic, which has infected over 79,400 and killed at least 2,600 so far.

Called COVID-19, the virus has blocked trade across much of China and is affecting the company’s earnings, global stock markets and worldwide production.

WHO officials declared the virus a global health emergency last month while urging the public not to overreact the virus.

Last week, the virus spread substantially beyond China. In Italy, the virus has infected more than 220 people and killed five since Monday morning. Most cases are located in the northern region of Lombardy and near Veneto, where authorities have closed schools and banned public meetings in an attempt to contain the virus.

South Korea confirmed 231 more cases on Monday, bringing the total to over 830 cases. The recent spate of cases has prompted the South Korean government to bring the COVID-19 alert to its peak.

Meanwhile, Iranian health officials have confirmed 61 total cases in the country since Monday, with 12 deaths across the nation. Most confirmed cases have been found in the city of Qom. However, health ministry official Minou Mohrez warned of unconfirmed cases last week.

“It is possible that it exists in all cities of Iran,” he said.

Outbreaks located outside of China are fueling concerns among infectious disease experts and scientists that the virus is spreading too quickly and the containment point may have passed. Health officials warn the public to prepare for a potential global pandemic.

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As the virus spreads, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus calls the international community to action before it’s too late. “The window of opportunity is still there, but our window of opportunity is shrinking,” he said on Friday. “We must act quickly before it closes completely.”

Read CNBC live updates to see the latest news on the COVID-19 epidemic.


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