Wuhan flu caused by new virus from Sars family, says China

The infection was first confirmed on December 31 in Wuhan a central Chinese city with a population of over 11 million

On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health warning advising doctors treating patients with pneumonia to consider a possible link with the Chinese outbreak and to wear masks and other precautions when treating patients recently traveled to Wuhan. Though the majority of coronaviruses aren't serious, select examples are, including the type that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Disease (SARS).

Regarding such a pneumonia outbreak, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and Russian Federation are taking measures for fever screening and health quarantine for passengers coming from Wuhan.

"A total of 15 positive results of the new type of coronavirus was detected" in the laboratory, CCTV said. "According to Chinese authorities, the virus in question can cause severe illness in some patients and does not transmit readily between people", the World Health Organization said. All received treatment in quarantine.

Eight patients have recovered and were discharged from hospital on Wednesday, according to Xinhua.

The Wuhan health commission said the infection broke out between Dec 12 and 29, and some of the patients were workers at a seafood market which has since been closed for disinfection. "It's premature to say that there's no human-to-human transmission".

That said, Chinese state media say the illness in Wuhan is different from coronaviruses that have been identified in the past.

In an interview, DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the country remains at low to moderate level of risk from the mysterious pneumonia virus that has caused an outbreak in China.

Ren said she also regarded the relatively high number of infections in Hong Kong with suspicion, given that there had been no reports of cases anywhere in between the two cities, in the southern province of Guangdong, for example. China is asking for the operation of more flights, according to the Civil Aviation Department.

However, on January 5, 2020 Singaporean officials released an update, confirming that the case is not linked to the pneumonia cluster in Wuhan.

The organisation has not recommended any travel restrictions on China.

The local government has been keeping in close contact with the National Health Commission (NHC) regarding the latest developments concerning the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak, the statement underlined.

City residents anxious about the outbreak have rushed to buy face masks from local pharmacies, with many selling out earlier this week.

The upcoming holiday has prompted concerns in Taiwan, where vice premier Chen Chi-mai has urged the island's health and welfare ministry to strengthen quarantine controls at airports and "plan properly".

The CDC also advised American travelers to go to Wuhan this week to avoid animals and the sick and wash their hands often.



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