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

Terrace cab stolen, found destroyed along Hwy 16 riverbank at rest stop near Prince Rupert

Driver was sent to hospital after stealing the running vehicle from company lot

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Vandals cause damage estimated at $3,000

“It was just malicious, stupid, drunken behaviour” - Thwaites

Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal from pipeline construction area

B.C. Deputy Commissioner clarifies terms of agreement following minister’s statements

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Trucking company fined $175K for Lemon Creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

‘It’s like he just vanished’: Quesnel man still missing, last seen two months ago

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Most Read