China virus outbreak not spreading at present

WHO States Outbreak of Mysterious Illness in China Is Linked to a New Virus

The WHO said it would gather more comprehensive information in coming weeks "to understand the current status and epidemiology of the outbreak", including its source, modes of transmission, the extent of infection, and which countermeasures are in place.

The proportion of severe cases is similar to that among common pneumonia cases, Wang said. He apparently had other health issues, with the statement from the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee noting he had abdominal tumors and chronic liver disease.

The outbreak in Wuhan of a mysterious form of viral pneumonia was first reported in late December, with patients suffering high fevers and breathing difficulties.

Two women surnamed Yan and Shu who had been discharged said on Sunday that hospital authorities had pushed overnight for as many patients unrelated to the pneumonia outbreak to be sent home as possible.

Currently, no case with infection of this novel coronavirus has been reported elsewhere other than Wuhan, and the Chinese government reported that there is no clear evidence that the virus passes easily from person to person.

Unlike SARS, which killed nearly 800 people, the new virus doesn't appear to spread easily between people. The sequencing of the virus identified it as belonging to the coronavirus group, the same group in which SARS and MERS belong. They said it was responsible for a new pneumonia-like illness that had swept Wuhan since last month, leaving 59 ill and created panic.

The Wuhan outbreak has been tied to a large seafood market that also sells the meat of exotic animals. This market has been closed since January 1, 2020. The only death case was a patient with other underlying health conditions. But outside experts have noted that it can be hard to exclude that at this early point in the outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not restricted travel to China.

A total of 739 close contacts, 419 of which are medical staff, have been placed under medical observation and no related cases were found, the commission said.

Meanwhile, health experts were praising the speed and transparency of the release of the genome sequence of the virus.

Such tools are urgently needed during outbreaks.

It's the first reported case of someone outside China being infected with the novel virus, which has captured global attention because of similarities with the one that sparked Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, 17 years ago.

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