Published: Sun, January 26, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Coronavirus: China’s mystery virus that has triggered worry

Coronavirus: China’s mystery virus that has triggered worry

The Chinese government has estimated people will make around three billion trips during the Lunar New Year travel season, but some social media users have said they may stay home due to concern about the virus.

He immediately called his health care provider and went to a clinic on January 19. On Monday, lab testing confirmed the virus in his system, a never-before-discovered species of coronavirus that's been given the early name "2019-nCoV" (the n stands for novel). The man is in his 30s and is in good condition at a hospital in Everett, outside Seattle.

China's aviation regulator on Tuesday evening told mainland carriers to refund or change flights to Wuhan without charge at the request of passengers, which analysts at Daiwa said had affected more than 24 airlines.

In the case of the latest strain, which was provisionally traced to a seafood market in Wuhan, it is equally important to determine exactly how the virus is transmitted. The virus has also been confirmed in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has developed a diagnostic test for the new coronavirus, which is different from the SARS outbreak when there was no similar test.

The first cases emerged in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province.

How many people have been infected so far?

Initial symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath. Not all cases are severe, and many patients in China have had only mild illness and been discharged.

Cathay said that as required by the Hong Kong health authorities, it was distributing health declaration forms and will be making face masks and antiseptic wipes available at the boarding gate to passengers travelling from Wuhan to Hong Kong.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the term coronavirus is used to define a group of viruses that cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS. "He was just traveling in that area", said Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer in Snohomish County Health District. The official Xinhua News Agency said no one would be permitted to leave without a specific reason.

The Chinese-ruled gambling hub of Macau confirmed its first case of pneumonia linked to the coronavirus and tightened body-temperature screening measures.

The patient, who was not identified, is a resident of the US and is in stable condition, CDC officials said during a news conference on Tuesday.

"We're very comfortable that this patient is isolated, poses a very little risk to staff or the general public".

Health officials said during a press conference on Tuesday that the risk of human-to-human transmission of the virus is relatively low.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday confirmed a second U.S. case of the new coronavirus from China in a Chicago woman, and said as many as 63 potential cases were being investigated as the sometimes deadly illness continues to spread around the globe. "The key issue we all need to understand is how easily and sustainably the virus is spread from human to human", Dr. Messonnier said. Neighboring Malaysia has also beefed up screening at Kuala Lumpur's airport.

The CDC is testing samples for the virus in Atlanta now, but in the coming weeks, testing will be shared nationally with state health departments.

But a senior US State Department official said Washington was "still concerned" about transparency in the Chinese government.

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