What It Means If the Coronavirus Is Called a Pandemic

Mounting cases of the deadly coronavirus across the Middle East, Europe and Asia are fueling concern the outbreak is widening into a “pandemic” — a situation when an infection spreads around the world. With cases reaching more than 30 countries, the question of whether the World Health Organization will begin to call the novel virus the first pandemic since 2009 might seem like just semantics; many countries have already acted to protect their populations. But that step could help spark more em