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The coronavirus sweeping across the world is a pandemic, the World Health Organization declared today. There are now over 118,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in 114 countries around the world.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2020
A pandemic is the “worldwide spread of a new disease,” according to the WHO. There’s no cut-and-dry criteria for what reaches the level of pandemic and what does not, and there is no threshold of cases or deaths that triggers the definition. Generally, though, it says more about a disease’s spread than its severity.
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