More than half of the world’s countries have an elevated risk of coronavirus infection, a World Health Organization (WHO) survey has found, with three-quarters of those countries having at least a one in five chance of contracting the disease.
The study of more than 30,000 infections in 21 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa from July to September 2015, found that three-fourths of countries have at least one infection in at least 1,000 people.
The WHO, which has a close relationship with governments around the world, said the data is a “good start” in measuring the impact of the coronaviral pandemic.
“This is the first time that we’ve actually been able to collect this information, and it’s quite encouraging,” said Dr. Peter Breggin, the director of the WHO Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Response, in an interview.
The results show that “we have to start paying more attention to where the transmission is happening in the world and to how we’re going to deal with the spread,” Breggins said.
The data also indicates that many countries are still facing the worst outbreak of the pandemic yet, even as the number of cases has declined.
The WHO said that the current outbreak was the worst since it began tracking infections in 2002, with about 1.6 million cases in 2014 and 5.1 million in 2015.
Breggins noted that the most recent WHO update on coronaviruses in July also showed that the overall global pandemic had stabilized in some countries, and that infections in the Americas and Europe have dropped.
He noted that other indicators, including new coronaviremia cases, remain high.
“There are still cases that are circulating, and we’ve still got cases around the globe,” he said.
“So the fact that there are still significant outbreaks around the planet is still a concern.
There are still outbreaks around other countries that haven’t been adequately reported, and so we have a number of people in particular at risk.”
Breggin said the findings are likely to lead to more work in other areas.
For instance, the number and spread of infectious diseases has been improving in many countries, but not everyone is convinced that the disease is under control.
In many countries and regions, people are reporting their cases as the pandemics nears its end.
The report also highlighted a significant shift in the data over the last few years.
In countries with high-risk populations, such as the Americas, the numbers of cases have dropped significantly.
In Europe, the report found that cases have decreased in every country except Denmark.
The number of new cases in the last two years is the lowest it has been in decades, according to the study.
The number of deaths in the previous two years, the WHO said, is the highest it has ever recorded.
In its first five months of this year, the total number of confirmed cases of coronivirus in the developed world reached 9,834,811, according the WHO.
The latest figures for 2016 are expected to be released by the end of the month.
Breghin said that while the data might provide some comfort, it is not definitive.
He said that even if countries did have a higher incidence of infections in recent years, it was possible that this could have been the result of other factors such as poor sanitation, poor treatment, or poor vaccination coverage.
“If you look at it in the context of the virus, if you look to countries where it’s the predominant infection, the most prevalent infections, there’s really been a lot of progress that’s been made in terms of the treatment of infections,” he told CNN.
Bregger said the WHO is working with governments to reduce the spread of coronacovirus by introducing better surveillance methods and better control measures.