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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Wuhan coronavirus confirmed to be transmissible between humans

The new strain of coronavirus that has spread across Asia is causing concern ahead of China's Lunar New Year.

(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
  • A new strain of the coronavirus — similar to SARS — is spreading across China and to nearby countries, including the U.S..
  • Although it's relatively early on, the virus appears to be fairly infectious and capable of human-to-human transmission, a serious concern given the many travelers expected to visit China for the upcoming Lunar New Year.
  • The World Health Organization intends to convene an emergency committee in the near future to determine whether the outbreak should be considered a public health emergency of international concern.
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When is a quarantine justified? A group of philosophers offers an answer.

Quarantines are worth the trouble to keep the next pandemic at bay but they need to be applied intelligently.

A trainee, wearing personal protective Equipment (PPE), takes part in a training session held by the military trained Civil Security (Securite civile), on checking and treating suspected victims of the Ebola virus. (JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A new essay argues that quarantines are often needed, but require strict guidelines on when they can be used.
  • Pandemics are inevitable, and actions that can save lives must be planned now.
  • The arguments in this essay will undoubtedly be of use during the next outbreak.
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