Coronavirus: Rapid spread raises fears of global pandemic

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Fears are growing that the coronavirus outbreak could reach pandemic scale as more cases emerge around the world. Most infections are in China but other nations like South Korea, Italy and Iran are battling the virus, which causes respiratory disease Covid-19.

A pandemic is when an infectious disease spreads easily from person to person in many parts of the world. About 77,000 people in China, where the virus emerged last year, have been infected and nearly 2,600 have died.

More than 1,200 cases have been confirmed in 26 other countries and there have been more than 20 deaths. Italy reported two more deaths on Monday, raising the total there to five.

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