World Health Organization declares the Coronavirus a pandemic.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday as the new coronavirus, which was unknown to world health officials just three months ago, has rapidly spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Declaring a pandemic is charged with major political and economic ramifications, global health experts say. It can further rattle already fragile world markets and lead to more stringent travel and trade restrictions. WHO officials had been reluctant to declare a global pandemic, which is generally defined as an illness that spreads far and wide throughout the world.

“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of Covid-19 cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” the organization said.

L.A. County, now with 20 confirmed coronavirus cases, the two new confirmed coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County jurisdiction are in isolation, and all close contacts are or will be quarantined for 14 days. L.A. County Public Health Department Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer

“We cannot, in L.A. County, test 1,000 people in a day,” she said. Ferrer recommended social distancing, and that individuals who are sick stay home in order to protect others who may be most vulnerable to the virus.

“We recognize that the most important thing we can do right now is to stay home when we’re sick — no matter how mild our symptoms are.”L.A. County Public Health Department Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer

No school closure has been recommended in the county — a decision she said would be based on exposure. L.A. County Public Health Department Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer