March 2, 2020
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The World Health Organization upgraded the global risk of virus spread to "very high," elevating the concern over a deadly strain of coronavirus.
Leaders in Missouri are meeting Monday in Jefferson City to talk about how to respond to the coronavirus. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will hold a public forum to share how they are responding to the global health crisis.
The current strain is blamed for killing more than 2,800 people and more than 83,000 people have gotten sick in at least 53 countries.
In the United States, there have been 60 confirmed cases, and two patients in Washington state have died.
Local health leaders are working with medical partners on the state and federal levels to better understand the current strain of coronavirus, as 20 people in the region have been tested for the virus, though there have been no positive tests.
“At this point, the risk of infection from this novel coronavirus is very low,” said St. Louis County Executive Sam Page. “There is no need to panic.”
Page said the county health department is in contact with the CDC and local hospitals monitoring the situation.