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Arizona Health Association: Coronavirus Spreads 'Easily, But Isn't As Lethal' As Data Suggests

The World Health Organization is in talks to speed up the global response to the coronavirus outbreak. But state health officials want Arizonans to know there’s still no reason to panic.

Will Humble is with the Arizona Public Health Association. He said while the virus is likely to become a global pandemic, it’s not as serious as the day’s headlines indicate. 

“The virus does spread fairly easily, but it isn’t as lethal as the initial data suggested," Humble said. "It looks like it spreads similarly to influenza. So it’s not like measles where you can be out of a room for a couple hours and still get infected with the measles.”

There are more than 42,000 confirmed cases in mainland China, where the virus originated.  Thirteen cases have been diagnosed in the U.S., and the death toll in China has topped 1,000.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.