1 Feb 2020

Virologist Chris Smith: Wuhan coronavirus latest

From Saturday Morning, 8:10 am on 1 February 2020

The global threat posed by the coronavirus "2019-nCoV" has escalated significantly over the past week.

With more than 200 deaths and at least 9,000 confirmed cases, countries currently unaffected (including New Zealand) are bracing for the arrival of the disease.

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation is facing criticism for its failure to act sooner in declaring a world public health emergency.

Travel and flight bans have been extended, and countries (including New Zealand) are evacuating their citizens from the worst affected areas.

So what did we get so wrong about the disease and the speed of its spread? And how best to cope with its threat now?

Dr Chris Smith, consultant virologist at Cambridge University and one of BBC Radio 5 Live's Naked Scientists, joins us for an update.

A child in Beijing, wearing a protective mask, 29 Janaury.

Photo: AFP