Coronavirus is a public health emergency

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus a public health emergency after more than 200 people have died from the illness.

The first person-to-person transfer was reported in the U.S., the CDC confirmed. An elderly man in Illinois contracted the virus from his wife, who picked up the illness while traveling in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated.

The new coronavirus has been compared to MERS and SARS and is known to cause symptoms such as runny rose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. More than 8,000 cases in China have been reported as of Jan. 30, with more than 100 cases in 20 other countries.

U.S. agencies are working with the Chinese government in its response to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The spread of the disease and its high death rate have raised alarm bells around the world, with new travel restrictions to and from China. In the U.S., 20 airports have implemented screenings for the disease, while commercial carriers have reduced or even temporarily halted travel to and from China.