The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, may spread less efficiently than the seasonal flu, but that it’s deadlier and more severe.
At a press briefing from the international organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made a point of explaining the “important differences” between the new virus currently breaking out across the globe and other diseases like influenza.
“This virus is not SARS, it’s not MERS, and it’s not influenza. It is a unique virus with unique characteristics,” Tedros said at the briefing.
While the coronavirus and the flu both spread the same way, which is by “small droplets of fluid from the nose and mouth of someone who is sick,” the director-general explained, “there are some important differences between COVID-19 and influenza.”