What we know about the coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

What we know about the coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

What we know about the coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

World Health Organization issued its evaluation after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities earlier in the day and cancelled major events in the capital, Beijing, during the Lunar New Year holiday period to try to contain the new virus.

Chinese experts later tentatively determined that this was a new strain of coronavirus, now labeled 2019-nCoV or Novel Coronavirus.

The first PHEIC was declared for the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, and others have included the 2014-2016 West African Ebola outbreak and the Zika outbreak in 2016. The declaration can increase resources to fight a threat but that can also cause trade and travel restrictions and other economic damage, making the decision politically fraught. Deciding whether an outbreak amounts to an global crisis therefore can also be politically fraught.

In 2014, by contrast, the World Health Organization was criticized for not sounding the alarm early enough as Ebola raged through West Africa. "WHO is following this outbreak every minute of every day".

Five people in Scotland and Northern Ireland are being tested for suspected coronavirus after travelling to the United Kingdom from the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have also been recorded in the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Just one person has tested positive for the virus in the U.S.so far, though there are conflicting reports about whether the man, now in Seattle, is in good condition. It said this marks the first such cases in Vietnam.

Federal health officials this week announced that a man who lives in Seattle but recently traveled to Wuhan was diagnosed with the illness, ultimately sparking fears there could be more cases in this country.

Many of those who died from the virus also had pre-existing health issues before contracting the Wuhan disease, such as diabetes and hypertension.

The father got a fever on January 17 and the son got the same symptoms three days later, according to Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sang, head of tropical diseases at Cho Ray hospital in Ho Chi Minh city.

The death toll stands at 18, with all fatalities occurring at the epicentre of the outbreak in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.

China on Thursday locked down two cities at the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and infected almost 600, as health authorities around the world took action to prevent a global pandemic.

Among those who have been discharged from the hospital were younger patients, including a 35-year-old man from Shenzhen, a bustling tech hub in southern Guangdong province.

"We know that there is human-to-human transmission in China but for now it appears limited to family groups and health workers caring for infected patients", he said.

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.

Wuhan's train station and airport, which should have been packed with people travelling for holiday family reunions, were nearly empty Thursday.

The few people wandering in the streets of the city were wearing masks as mandated by police.

The train station and the airport in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, are shut down, and bus, ferry and subway services have been halted.

The central city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged, was put on lockdown Thursday, with outbound trains and planes indefinitely suspended.

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