Published: Wed, January 15, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Wuhan pneumonia outbreak: First case reported outside China

Wuhan pneumonia outbreak: First case reported outside China

Preliminary lab tests cited by Chinese state media showed the 41 pneumonia cases in Wuhan, where one patient has died, could be from a new type of coronavirus.

Prior to the new incident, Wuhan's health authorities believed the infections had been caused by exposure to a local seafood market, as all the confirmed cases either worked at or frequented the market.

Apart from the couple, a man and his son plus a relative who was living with them were also infected, but they were less likely to be human-to-human transmissions as they had symptoms at a close time, she said. None have yet been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. She said it would be better to let the mainland experts comment on the infectivity of the disease as they were analyzing it. With the Lunar New Year approaching, the World Health Organization urged Thai authorities and the public to stay vigilant as an influx of Chinese holidaymakers can be expected, said Reuters.

Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, in Wuhan, China, on January 11, 2020.

Chan added that the current preventive measures in Hong Kong, including temperature checks on incoming tourists, were on the right track.

The authorities say this suggests that there may have been limited human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus blamed for the pneumonia.

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"Behind the scenes there's a lot that goes on", said Dr. Joseph Kim, a Calgary-based infectious disease specialist and a medical director with Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada).

A new virus from the same family as the deadly SARS disease has spread beyond China's borders for the first time with a case emerging in Thailand yesterday, United Nations and Thai officials said.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on late Tuesday paid a visit to a Thai hospital to see a Chinese woman who was being treated with the new coronavirus.

The woman was quarantined after landing in Bangkok from Wuhan, eastern China, where the outbreak began in December.

The WHO said it was preparing for the possibility that there could be a wider outbreak.

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