Science

China reports 571 confirmed cases of new coronavirus pneumonia

China reports 571 confirmed cases of new coronavirus pneumonia”

Chinese health authorities, mwanwhile, are urging people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings after warning that the illness, which has infected hundreds of people in the country and caused at least 17 deaths could spread further.

There have been 460 confirmed cases so far, and nine deaths, putting the fatality rate on par with the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, which wiped out 50 million people globally.

Meanwhile, in Geneva, the World Health Organization's emergency committee is meeting to assess the global risks posed by the virus and decide if it should be declared an worldwide public health emergency - as happened with swine flu and Ebola.

The destinations are as follows: Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Macau, Taiwan, Philippines Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.

Director general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said more information was needed about the spread of the infection.

"I'm very scared, I'm very anxious as soon as I found out I flew back", they said.

"I've never felt scared, majority are controllable, but this time, I'm scared", he told the news outlet on Thursday in regards to his recent trip to Wuhan to help discern the source of the virus.

Britain joined other countries including Australia in advising citizens against all but essential travel to Wuhan.

Fears are mounting about the spread of the virus as hundreds of millions travel for Lunar New Year celebrations, which start Friday.

The hashtag "Wuhan is sealed off" was trending on China's Twitter-like Weibo, with more than 30 million views.

The Chinese government has classified the outbreak in the same category as the SARS epidemic, meaning compulsory isolation for those diagnosed with the illness as well as the ability to implement quarantine measures.

But they still have not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus. It cited the city's anti-virus task force as saying the measures were taken in an attempt to "effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee the people's health and safety".

In a study published online by SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences on Tuesday, researchers from the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other Chinese research institutes compared the genome sequences of the 2019-nCoV to coronaviruses known to infect humans: SARS-CoV and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)-CoV.

"So you could go to Wuhan, get infected and come back, which is what happened to the individual in Washington and then be home for a number of days, interacting with people before you even know that you're sick".

Airport authorities in the USA as well as many Asian countries, including Japan, Thailand, Singapore and South Korea, stepped up screening of passengers from Wuhan.

The 16 people are in "active monitoring", which means public health workers are contacting them daily to find out if they are experiencing any symptoms such as a fever or respiratory issues, said Dr. John Wiesman, the state's health officer, at a news conference Wednesday. "They also need to provide sufficient resources at Canadian ports of entry for screening, particularly at airports", he said.

Chinese health authorities announced today that 571 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the virus had been reported in 25 provincial-level regions, while 17 people have died.

Also on rt.com Global pandemic, here we come?

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



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