Health authorities in central China confirmed Saturday’s first death from a mysterious outbreak of pneumonia that was blamed on a new strain of the same family of SARS viruses.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement that out of 41 people diagnosed with the new type of coronavirus in the city of Wuhan where it was first reported, one died, two were discharged from care and seven remained in serious condition.
Authorities had previously said that the pneumonia outbreak affected 59 people. However, the new statement from the commission states that the 41 patients report with new coronavirus.
The outbreak has caused alarm because of the link to SARS, or Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which more than a decade ago killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong.
Both the Chinese authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) have said a new coronavirus would be to blame. The outbreak was first confirmed at Wuhan, a central Chinese town with a population of over 11 million, on December 31.
“No new cases detect since January 3, 2020,” the health commission states.
“At present, no infections among medical staff report, and no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission is in.”
Hong Kong Authorities Take Precautions Against SARS
It states the patients, primarily business operators in a Wuhan seafood market which close as a result of the outbreak on January 1. Hong Kong authorities— which severely affect by SARS in 2002-2003— since take precautions including stepping up train and aircraft disinfection and passenger checks.
Since then, China has ruled out a fresh SARS recurrence. The outbreak is just ahead of the busiest annual travel time in China. Tens of millions of people take buses, trains and planes in late January for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Hong Kong authorities states in recent days 48 people admit in hospital. This is since returning from Wuhan and reporting flu-like diseases. But none report to contract the mystery virus.
City residents concerned about the outbreak. They rushed to buy face masks from local pharmacies. Many pharmacies earlier this week were running out of masks. The upcoming holiday has sparked fears in Taiwan. Officials urged the island’s ministry of health and welfare to strengthen airport quarantine controls.
On Tuesday, the US embassy in China warned that American travelers would stop animals and contact with sick people.
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