Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

China says coronavirus cases rise to 440, with nine deaths

China says coronavirus cases rise to 440, with nine deaths

Chinese health authorities urged people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings, after warning that a new viral illness that has infected more than 400 people and killed at least nine could spread further. Four cases have also been confirmed overseas among Chinese travellers in South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

As of January 20, 282 cases of the virus were confirmed, and six people had died, according to the World Health Organization.

"When you come to the kiosk, there's a direct question that asks if you've been in Wuhan province, and anybody that asks yes to that, will be screened by a CBSA agent", said B.C. Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

A pneumonia-like virus sweeping China has claimed its ninth victim and spread to a total of 440 confirmed patients, according to Chinese health officials, who said they would boost worldwide cooperation to contain the illness. In the meantime, government officials are limiting travel to and from Wuhan and heightening security measures, an especially tricky task considering it is the week of the Chinese New Year.

Coronaviruses cover several different types of viruses, from the common cold to more severe illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Gao said officials are working on the assumption that the outbreak resulted from human exposure to wild animals being sold illegally at a food market in Wuhan and that the virus is mutating. Authorities in China reported Wednesday that it has sickened almost 440 people and killed nine in their country. He traveled back to the USA before showing symptoms of the illness, state health officials said.

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In the United States, the National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine for the new virus, though it will take at least a few months until the first phase of clinical trials get underway and more than a year until a vaccine might be available.

Chinese authorities have advised people to stop travel in and out of Wuhan in a bid to stop the spread of the human-to-human virus.

Health officials on Tuesday said the new coronavirus was likely to spread to other parts of China and other countries in the coming days. Patients with the virus have been isolated in hospitals or homes to prevent spreading it.

The DOH is closely monitoring the outbreak of 2019-nCoV occurring in China and regularly coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a DOH press release. They now say it can spread between people.

The symptoms of the newest form of coronavirus include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.

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