Published: Mon, January 20, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

China confirms 3rd death from new coronavirus

China confirms 3rd death from new coronavirus

Chinese authorities on Sunday announced 17 new cases of a deadly virus that has infected more than 60 people in the central city of Wuhan.

And on January 19, China's National Health Commission confirmed one case of infection in Shenzhen city of southern China's Guangdong Province.

A report published by the London Imperial College's MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis on Friday said there are likely to be "substantially more cases".

South Korea reported on Monday its first confirmed case of a new coronavirus that has broken out in China, Reuters reports, citing South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

It is feared that the virus may spread as hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists will be travelling domestically and overseas during the Lunar New Year holiday period that starts later this week.

It said that close monitoring was needed given that the source, transmission and mutation methods of virus were unknown.

Still, the commission acknowledged that the source of the virus and its path of transmission were not fully understood.

Symptoms have included fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

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Local authorities in Wuhan said a 69-year-old man died on Wednesday, becoming the second fatality, with the disease causing pulmonary tuberculosis and damage to multiple organ functions. In Wuhan, 170 people are still being treated in hospital, including nine in critical condition, the city health commission said.

The China Daily said in an editorial that people "should remain alert, but not panic". They said the risk of the virus to the American public was low, but they wanted to take proper precautions. The group said it would continue to examine the issue. "Past experience with SARS and MERS-CoV outbreaks of similar scale suggests now self-sustaining human-to-human transmission should not be ruled out", it added.

She told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning the virus was in early stages, but it's known to be in the family of coronaviruses. Preeti Maheshwari is the first foreigner to be affected by the novel coronavirus, which resembles the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.

Initially, authorities in Wuhan appeared to suggest new infections had stopped after the closure of the Huanan Seafood Market.

Due to China's efforts to implement broader screening, new cases may be identified in the coming days and weeks, it added. Scientists say that it is also possible that the virus could mutate to become more unsafe. SARS was also a coronavirus; it spread to more than two dozen countries, including Canada, and killed almost 800.

The United States has implemented additional checks for passengers arriving from Wuhan at airports in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

"It is clear that there is at least some human-to-human transmission from the evidence we have, but we don't have clear evidence that shows the virus has acquired the capacity to transmit among humans easily", said Takeshi Kasai, the WHO's regional director for the western pacific, in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday. Officials in China and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that the infection is coronavirus after analysing viral samples taken from patients.

"We need to prepare for the possibility that this could be a larger outbreak, and it could become a pandemic", he said. "But that doesn't mean that it will".

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