IAFC Builds Coronavirus Resource; Global Emergency Called

Jan. 30, 2020
The World Health Organization issued an alert about the novel coronavirus outbreak in China after the first human-to-human transmission of the virus was reported in Chicago.

Editor's note: Find Firehouse.com's complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.

On the heels of the International Association of Fire Chiefs preparing a resource guide for fire departments and EMS agencies concerning the threat of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization declared Thursday that the viral outbreak in China has become a global health emergency.

The UN health agency issued the alert after U.S. officials discovered the first case of human-to-human of the novel coronavirus in the country in Chicago, according to U.S. News and Report. The patient, a Chicago man in his 60s, was infected with the virus by his wife, who had been to the city of Wuhan in China.

This latest discovery now marks six reported cases in the United States. More than 8,200 reported cases internationally, and the virus has killed 170 people in China.

Before WHO's announcement, the IAFC had set up a web page with links to resources about the coronavirus. Some of those include an overview for emergency medical agencies, guidelines for health providers and a preparedness checklist.

"As fire and EMS agencies consider how to best prepare for, and respond to, occurrences of the (coronavirus), all fire chiefs are encouraged to review the materials" linked on the page, the organization stated.

The IAFC says it will regularly update the page as more information is available.

Go to the IAFC's website for links on how firefighters and EMTs should respond to the cases of the coronavirus.

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