Health and Science

Watch: World Health Organization updates on coronavirus outbreak

Key Points
  • World Health Organization officials are holding a news briefing Wednesday to provide updates on the new coronavirus outbreak.
  • The new coronavirus has now killed more than 490 people worldwide and infected over 24,000 people in more than two dozen countries.
  • The WHO declared the virus a global health emergency last week.

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World Health Organization officials are holding a news briefing Wednesday to provide updates on the new coronavirus outbreak.

The virus has now killed more than 490 people worldwide and infected over 24,000 people in more than two dozen countries, including in the U.S. The WHO declared the virus a global health emergency last week, a rare designation that helps the international agency mobilize financial and political support to contain the outbreak.

Amid news reports Wednesday that a research team at Zhejiang University had found an effective drug to treat people with the new coronavirus, the WHO urged caution.

"There are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV and WHO recommends enrollment into a randomized controlled trial to test efficacy and safety," the agency said Wednesday. "A master global clinical trial protocol for research and prioritization of therapeutics is ongoing at the WHO."

[To see the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit CNBC's live updates here.]

The U.S. government has implemented travel restrictions and issued federal quarantine orders in response to the outbreak for the first time in about 50 years, health officials said last week. Flights from mainland China are being funneled through 11 U.S. airports, officials said, where all passengers are being screened for symptoms. Travelers from Hubei province are being quarantined for 14 days.