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SARS-type virus blamed for outbreak in China

Posted on Thursday, 9 January, 2020 | Comment icon 381 comments

Efforts are underway to prevent the spread of infection. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 Nesnad
Scientists now believe that a coronavirus is responsible for a recent pneumonia outbreak in the city of Wuhan.
Since December of last year, as many as 60 people in China have fallen ill with pneumonia due to a mysterious contagion that has remained notoriously difficult to identify.

Now according to lead scientist Xu Jianguo, preliminary laboratory results based on the testing of infected blood samples and throat swabs indicate that a new coronavirus may be to blame.

It's a possibility also backed up by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Coronoviruses are responsible for a number of different illnesses ranging from the common cold to the flu-like SARS virus which infected 8,098 people and killed 774 back at the beginning of the century.
As it happens, SARS also originated in China before spreading to dozens of other countries.

As things stand however, this new virus seems to be contained in Wuhan for the time being and there is no direct evidence that it is even capable of being transmitted from human to human.

According to China's WHO representative Gauden Galea, more work needs to be done to "determine the source, modes of transmission, extent of infection and countermeasures implemented."

In the meantime, authorities are stepping up efforts to screen travelers and to effectively disinfect trains, planes and other modes of public transport in case the virus does start to spread.

So far nobody has died, however seven of those infected are said to be in a critical condition.

Source: BBC News | Comments (381)

Tags: China, Virus

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #372 Posted by Raptor Witness on 23 February, 2020, 6:09
The virus cases are reportedly much more severe in Northern Italy for some reason, with a higher percentage of critical cases. It’s unclear why this is, however, since a number of factors could explain it, including a mutation, relative age and health of the patients, local protocols for what constitutes “severe” etc... A bit long winded, but a load of key data in this report ....  
Comment icon #373 Posted by Great Old Man on 23 February, 2020, 15:54
Comment icon #374 Posted by Eldorado on 23 February, 2020, 16:17
"Japan reports 3rd cruise ship death, 57 more infected" "Japan's health ministry says a cruise ship passenger who had been hospitalized after testing positive for the new virus has died, the third fatality from the Diamond Princess." At the ABC: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/japan-reports-3rd-cruise-ship-death-57-infected-69160044   "Venice Carnival closes as Italy imposes lockdown" At the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51602007
Comment icon #375 Posted by susieice on 23 February, 2020, 20:47
Korea has raised it's status to the highest alert possible. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51603251?ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=facebook&ocid=socialflow_facebook&fbclid=IwAR2C0pIEBPW541rXpDBx45uhJ0Og47CXDdFDo1tbMntoiHqZoYTJleYlaMQ
Comment icon #376 Posted by Raptor Witness on 23 February, 2020, 21:50
  This is beginning to cause dramatic problems for global commerce in Europe, and we’re just getting started. I wonder what will happen in the United States, if some states begin blocking interstate travel on their own? What about when the locals start fighting over the available ventilators, rich vs. poor? This virus could set the stage for martial law in many countries, with the issue of the prisons themselves becoming like these cruise ship Petri dishes. Imagining Donald Trump with Marshall Law Powers is like imagining Hitler with the Gestapo. He might decide to delay the election? Only tho... [More]
Comment icon #377 Posted by Great Old Man on 24 February, 2020, 7:27
  Indeed, the situation of Korea is very "doomed" suspicious people who have a symptom is already more than 37000 people   this situation happened in Busan. One Chinese stayed here over 3 days and revealed that he was infected. therefore all of people who use this Korea Sauna were quarantined. the guy say you can get out of here, you should move to quarantined triage room.  you can't go home and you'll move to quarantine zone and it will be checked whether infected or not. I have also could be infected, because near 1 km of my villager also infected.
Comment icon #378 Posted by Great Old Man on 24 February, 2020, 7:35
  everybody becomes crazy in Wuhan.  I also stayed inside home all day long more than month in ROK really stressful...    
Comment icon #379 Posted by Great Old Man on 24 February, 2020, 7:59
https://www.boredpanda.com/diary-girl-wuhan-coronavirus/?utm_source=everytime&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=organic     One Chinese wrote Diary, and her and her family were all dead. Chinese version of Anne's Diary.        
Comment icon #380 Posted by susieice on 24 February, 2020, 13:37
Death toll in Iran is now at 50. https://6abc.com/5962882/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2bBR0dtKElumSM-sIhXdCAHuhcjqc6xPoYRbi_TqOulSF_IRX4wkyvyec Iran denies the report and says only 12 have died. https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/feb/24/coronavirus-live-updates-china-wuhan-hubei-latest-news-italy-lombardy-south-korea-iran-japan-cases-infections-death-toll-outbreak-xi-jinping-update
Comment icon #381 Posted by Raptor Witness on 24 February, 2020, 21:39
Sadly, I think it’s safe to say that the communal religious practices in Iran, especially given their frequency, are likely to lead to easier spread of the virus. These folks also do a lot of face kissing and handshakes, perhaps more so than most cultures, which is likely to lead to an explosion in cases. Iran is also likely, poorly equipped to handle the volume of critical patients, increasing the fatality rate. The other factor, which has not been discussed, is the expected future anger, over the US sanctions, which may harshly affect Iran‘s ability to get much needed equipment and preventat... [More]

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