The World Health Organization has had a busy couple of weeks keeping track of three deadly strains across the world, and world travelers have probably been equally overcome with fear. And while the public-health group has been realistic in combatting a worldwide freakout — at least it's been a bit more proactive than local governments in check-ups on novel coronavirus, Chinese bird flu, and now wild polio in Africa — the WHO did confirm over the weekend that the SARS cousin, NCoV, can spread between humans in the same room. If you're already afraid of humans in the same room as you, here's how to responsibly freak out on the viral news before it goes viral in the wrong way.
You should freak out if ... you've recently visited China, France, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia.
Because if you haven't been to any of those four countries of late, none of the three viruses have escaped them. The new bird flu, H7N9, has spread across the provinces of China. The newest cases of NCoV were found in France after a traveler came from Dubai — the United Arab Emirates still don't face a threat, but a large number of cases of the disease stem from Saudi Arabia. Oh, yeah, and the WHO issued an alert on Saturday that "wild poliovirus" was found in Somalia — preliminarily, but still: a confirmation that it was spreading "would constitute a serious national and international risk to public health." But even for the far-flung, there's this...