The virus that causes COVID-19 seems able to spread to anyone, anywhere.
While identifying a new disease by its place of origin seems intuitive, history shows that doing so can have serious consequences for the people that live there.
Medical staff strike over coronavirus concerns in Hong Kong. Hospital workers are demanding the border with mainland China be shut completely to ward off the virus.
(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
The prevalence of racism and scapegoating in the face of catastrophes and disasters has a much longer history than the new coronavirus outbreak.
To how many others will one infected person spread the infection?
Epidemiologists want to quickly identify any emerging disease's potential to spread far and wide. Dependent on a number of factors, this R0 number helps them figure that out and plan accordingly.
A horseshoe bat chasing a moth. Horseshoe bats were the source of SARS. Scientists consider bats to be a possible source of coronavirus.
DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARY / Contributor
Some of the world's worst diseases have come from animals. Bats, cows, camels and horses have all contributed. Now, scientists are working to know which animal introduced the new coronavirus.
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from an infected cell (yellow-green).
The Trump administration has cut funding for infectious disease research and reduced high-level staffing for global health security, leaving the nation less prepared for major outbreaks.
Cambodian high-school students line up to sanitize their hands to avoid coronavirus in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
AP Photo/Heng Sinith
China's coronavirus outbreak is stoking fears that it could become the next great global pandemic. As the World Health Organization declares a global emergency, it's also fanning a pandemic of fear.
Kenyan health workers from port health services screen inbound travelers for temperatures at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Airport public health officials have got better at screening at ports of entry especially for international arrivals.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says it will use lessons from the Ebola outbreak to strengthen its risk communications capacity.
Passengers on a tram in China wear surgical masks to guard against viral infection.
Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Two coronaviruses were identified in the 1960s, and five since SARS in 2003. It is the seventh that is now making headlines.
Hugh Kinsella Cunningham/ EPA-EFE
When done properly, a simulation exercise is a useful tool for evaluating preparedness for a public health emergency.
Hospital workers wearing biohazard suits scrub down a man in a decontamination drill.
AP Photo/Nati Harnik
Talk of bioterrorism might provoke fears of smallpox and anthrax, but mundane threats like salmonella may pose greater danger. And experts say that the U.S. is not prepared for an attack.
UNICEF carers at a creche for children whose parents are being treated for Ebola. Building health infrastructure is crucial to stopping the next outbreak.
Epa/ Hugh Kinsella Cunningham
The emergency in the DRC shows that despite all these positive changes, the global response to containing Ebola outbreaks is undermined by the lack of health care and public health infrastructure.
During almost all outbreaks, women provide the majority of care to the ill voluntarily in their homes at great risk and cost to themselves.
Hugh Kinsella Cunningham/EPA-EFE
The current outbreak refuses to give in to efforts by an international team of health care workers, armed with vaccines and treatment that did not even exist during previous episodes.
A health worker spreading disinfectant at a health checkpoint in Goma, DRC.
Nearly everything known about Ebola virus persistence in the reproductive system has resulted from testing semen of West African Ebola virus disease survivors.
African researchers are on the front line of the fight to find a vaccine that will protect people against Ebola.
A health team begins to disinfect a clinic in Ngongolio, Beni, DRC.
Hugh Kinsella Cunningham/EPA
Two deadly viruses are ravaging the DRC. Why are we only hearing about one of them?
Millions of young children get malaria. These two got it in 2010.
AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam
There's a big market for new treatments for TB, malaria and other ailments. But most of these diseases afflict low-income people unable to pay for medicine.
Congolese National Army solider escorts health workers to the grave of an Ebola victim, in Beni, North Kivu province.
EPA-EFE/HUGH KINSELLA CUNNINGHAM
Local communities are wary of the sudden arrival of outsiders and of their interest in regions where there's been violence for years
A health worker checks people’s temperatures in Goma, DRC.
Epidemics can have massive social ramifications where prohibitions are imposed on travel, socio-cultural events and schooling.