Bruce Aylward, Executive Director for Outbreaks and Health Emergencies of the World Health Organization, WHO, speaks during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, July 7, 2016. The World Health Organization says a renowned Canadian epidemiologist will lead an international team of experts in the study of China’s novel coronavirus outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Keystone

Renowned Canadian epidemiologist to lead coronavirus study team: WHO

Bruce Aylward directed WHO’s 2,000-person response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak

Renowned Canadian epidemiologist Bruce Aylward will be leading a team of World Health Organization experts in China to study the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Aylward arrived in China today to lay the groundwork for the larger international team tasked with learning more about the virus and China’s public health response to it.

Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, says the team’s mission will be to learn what investigations into the virus have already been carried out in China and to understand what has been one of the largest public health responses in history.

But first, Ryan says Aylward and his team will be looking to the origin of the virus and the severity of the disease.

Aylward is a veteran of past infectious disease outbreaks, having directed WHO’s 2,000-person response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak.

He joined WHO in 1992, and worked in the Middle East, Western Pacific, Europe, North Africa and Central and Southeast Asia in the field of immunization and communicable disease control; he has been responsible for a major overhaul of the way WHO responds to health emergencies.

In China, Aylward and his team of about 10 experts will collaborate with Chinese scientists and public health officials to decide which parts of the country to visit, and which unanswered questions to tackle first.

“We want to learn more about the virus, to learn more about the investigations that have been carried out by Chinese scientists and epidemiologists, to understand the nature of the public health response — which reaches right from the lowest level of the community right the way through the system to the top,” Ryan said.

As of Monday morning, there were 40,554 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the vast majority of which are in China, and 910 deaths.

READ MORE: Canadian coronavirus evacuee describes life under quarantine at CFB Trenton

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Oak Bay’s only candy shop closing for good on Friday

Sweet Delights Candy Store going out of business

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Most Read