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SARS-type virus blamed for outbreak in China

Posted on Thursday, 9 January, 2020 | Comment icon 33 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 (33)

Tags: China, Virus

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Still Waters on 20 January, 2020, 16:31
Comment icon #25 Posted by spartan max2 on 20 January, 2020, 18:24
Well ****.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Eldorado on 20 January, 2020, 19:13
"A British tourist is feared to to be the first western victim of the pneumonia-like coronavirus, sweeping China. "Ash Shorley, 32, is fighting for his life after being rushed to hospital in Phuket after the mystery bug infected both his lungs while he was on Koh Phi Phi island in Thailand." At Yahoo News: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/british-tourist-struck-down-by-mystery-bug-feared-to-be-coronavirus-184935696.html? And at the UK Metro: https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/20/british-patient-fighting-life-may-contracted-mystery-chinese-virus-12088493/
Comment icon #27 Posted by Raptor Witness on 20 January, 2020, 19:20
Bacterial Pneumonia Caused Most Deaths in 1918 Influenza Pandemic -  Implications for Future Pandemic Planning - NIH August 19, 2008 The majority of deaths during the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 were not caused by the influenza virus acting alone, report researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Instead, most victims succumbed to bacterial pneumonia following influenza virus infection. _______________ This is the most interesting, because previous studies that I had read suggested that cytokine reactions o... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by Manwon Lender on 20 January, 2020, 19:31
Getting pneumonia shots may not be the Answer. If this is genetically altered Virus the shots most likely will not work. But as far as the shots go, I would still consider getting it if you haven't already. I just got my first shot in the series, around a week ago not because of this out break, but I got it because my doctor recommended it.  Paece
Comment icon #29 Posted by Raptor Witness on 20 January, 2020, 19:38
I don’t think you understand the hypothesis. It’s not a virus that you’re being vaccinated against in these pneumonia shots, and it’s the subsequent bacterial infection, after you get the virus, that you would be vaccinated against.
Comment icon #30 Posted by spartan max2 on 20 January, 2020, 21:36
The flu shot immunizes against the most common strain. The virus from China is a different strain. 
Comment icon #31 Posted by Raptor Witness on 20 January, 2020, 23:28
This isn't a flu virus. It's completely different ...
Comment icon #32 Posted by spartan max2 on 20 January, 2020, 23:50
Same principles apply.
Comment icon #33 Posted by Raptor Witness on 21 January, 2020, 0:44
And exactly what principles are those? A “genetically altered flu virus” has nothing to do with a subsequent bacterial infection of the lungs, due to a principal viral infection of the lungs. What basically happens is, the lungs are attacked by a virus, and the lungs start shedding material, which cannot be adequately removed by the cilia, and then the bacteria move in and kill the patient. After having given it some additional thought, my belief is the chances of a cytokine storm are likely reduced by vaccination against the pneumococcal bacteria. There wont likely be a vaccine against this n... [More]

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