A fourth person has died from pneumonia in the central Chinese city of Wuhan following the outbreak of a new coronavirus, authorities have confirmed.
On Monday, the CDC wrote that "many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China have reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread".
The source of the coronavirus is unknown, but it could spread easily as even adults lack basic habits to protect themselves. However, people have now been infected hundreds of miles away from the Wuhan market, and officials said Monday that it can also spread from person to person.
A 89-year-old man was the latest victim of the new strain of coronavirus, which causes a type of pneumonia.
Screenings began last week at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.
Experts in the United Kingdom told the BBC the number of people infected could still be far greater than official figures suggest, with estimates closer to 1,700. "We are seeing rapidly increasing case numbers across China, and in more countries, with health care workers infected". Experts say that a resident of Snohomish county in Washington state, who had returned from Wuhan to Seattle Jan. 15, began noticing symptoms.
Even before the first US patient was confirmed, the CDC was coordinating with other federal agencies to route any passengers traveling from Wuhan to the United States through three airports: Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK). But it remains unclear what kind of animal has caused the infections, said Gao Fu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and head of the China CDC.
The US is the fifth country to report seeing the illness, following China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
The worries have been heightened by the coming of the Lunar New Year holiday rush, when millions of Chinese travel at home and overseas.
The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union said it had received a "tremendous" amount of emails and messages from members concerned about catching the virus given they were exposed to more than 300 passengers from numerous places on a single flight.
Coronaviruses is a term applied to a variety of viruses that include the common cold and more severe illnesses such as SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome.
The World Health Organization is expected to meet on Wednesday to determine whether or not to declare the outbreak an global public health emergency.
On Tuesday, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it had started working on the development of a vaccine that could cure the new coronavirus strain.
A traveler from China was diagnosed in Seattle with the Wuhan coronavirus, a CDC spokesman, Benjamin Haynes, confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday.
The pneumonia resulting from the infection of the novel coronavirus has been classified as a category B infectious disease and a quarantinable disease at the border, according to an earlier announcement by the NHC.
2019-nCoV has evoked memories of Sars, with genetic analyses revealing it is more closely related to the pathogen than any other coronavirus.
Flu season especially bad for children, young adults
But what's different this year, and what's still puzzling to doctors, is the kind of influenza more people are getting. CNN reports that the main strain of flu that is circulating doesn't exactly match what's in this year's flu shot .