Watch live: World Health Organization holds press conference on the coronavirus outbreak

  • World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The coronavirus has now infected over 1 million people globally.
  • WHO officials emphasized on Wednesday how much scientists still don't know about the virus, saying this is the world's first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.

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World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak, which has now infected over 1 million people globally.

On Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized how much scientists still don't know about the virus, saying this is the world's first pandemic caused by a coronavirus "and whose behavior is not really known."

"Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area," Tedros said at a news briefing at the organization's Geneva headquarters Wednesday.

Reported COVID-19 cases around the world surpassed 1 million on Thursday. The virus has now spread across Europe and North America and taken a toehold in Africa, where WHO officials have repeatedly emphasized many health systems are ill-equipped to care for what could be an overwhelming number of critical patients.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 1,041,126 people and has killed at least 55,132, according to Johns Hopkins University data. In the U.S., the coronavirus has infected at least 245,500 people and has killed at least 6,058.

— CNBC's William Feuer contributed to this report.

Read CNBC's live updates to see the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak.