The World Health Organization says it’s not yet a global health emergency…but it may become one.

Ten cities in eastern China are now under a tight lockdown, as officials try to prevent the spread of a coronavirus that’s left 26 people dead and hundreds of others ill.

The virus is similar to the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003, which killed hundreds of people.

Medical officials say it can take up to two weeks to incubate, making it difficult to detect.

The extraordinary restrictions on travel in eastern China come as the country celebrates the biggest holiday of the year, the Lunar New Year, with hundreds of millions of people travelling across the
country.

Cases of the virus have also cropped up in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States.

Closer to home, Public Health Units across Ontario have been activated to take quick action if the virus shows up in the province.

The move came from the Ministry of Health office yesterday.