Hong Kong tightens controls following pneumonia outbreak in China

Medical staff in protective gear at the Wuhan Medical Treatment Centre

Chinese experts say that the virus strain is the same as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Such viruses are common in people, but more exotic versions from bats, camels and other animals have caused severe illness. "12%2C-authorities-say" class="local_link" target="_blank">ruled out the possibility that SARS and MERS were responsible for city's infections.

As reported by CNBC, WHO in a statement said, "The initial information about the cases of pneumonia in Wuhan.pointed to a coronavirus as a possible pathogen causing this cluster".

Twenty-five patients have been discharged, while others still in the hospital are in stable condition, Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said Thursday.

Ho Pak-leung, head of the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Infection, has warned that it is highly possible that the illness is spreading from human to human, given the sheer number of cases that have mushroomed in a short period of time. In the case of SARS, no human cases have been reported anywhere in the world since 2004.

Eight patients have recovered and have been discharged from the hospital, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

In Hong Kong, 38 suspected cases were identified. Health officials placed a 36-year-old Chinese woman under isolated treatment over concerns that she brought back the viral pneumonia following two business trips to China last month. The South China Seafood City food market will be suspended and investigated, Wuhan's health commission said. Meanwhile, Taiwan authorities said Wednesday that they were quarantining a patient who fell ill with flu symptoms on January 6, more than two weeks after the individual returned from a trip to Wuhan.

SARS killed 349 people in mainland China and 299 in Hong Kong over the winter of 2002-2003.

"The first data on cases of lung disease in Wuhan - in particular the activity, location and symptoms of the infected people - indicate that a corona virus is a pathogen that could be the cause", in response to a World Health Organization assertion. At least 770 died after it spread to other cities and countries.

The DDC has also advised Thai and worldwide tourists, who are travelling from Wuhan, China within 14 days to seek immediate medical advice and treatment if they are experiencing these emergency warning signs: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and shortness of breath.

Officials may have found the cause of the mysterious outbreak of pneumonia that has sickened dozens of people in China, according to news reports.

News of the pneumonia cases first emerged on December 30, when the local health authority told hospitals to be on the lookout for cases.

Wan Xiangdong, chief flight officer of China's Civil Aviation Administration, said all planes were equipped with emergency medical kits.

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