Health Care

Coronavirus: China admits 'deficiencies' in response to virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday confirmed the second person-to-person transmission of novel coronavirus in the US, marking the tenth and eleventh cases of the pneumonia-like illness in the country.

China said it would welcome assistance from the United States to fight a coronavirus outbreak, a day after it accused Washington of scaremongering, and as the death toll rose on Tuesday by a new daily record to more than 420.

Japanese officials were deciding whether to quarantine more than 3,000 people on a cruise ship that carried a passenger who tested positive for the virus.

There are now 11 confirmed United States cases of the viral disease, which originated in Wuhan, China, said Nancy Messonnier, MD, the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Health officials say the public should expect more person-to-person cases in the future. Meanwhile, almost 200 people remain under quarantine at March Air Force Base in Riverside County after being evacuated from Wuhan amid fears of the outbreak. One in the Philippines, and another in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong, which reported on Tuesday that a 39-year-old man who had traveled to Wuhan last month had died. "We are preparing as if this were the next epidemic".

Other countries are continuing evacuations and restricting the entry of Chinese or people who have recently travelled in the country.

More news: Hong Kong suspends four more border crossings to curb spread of virus

The outbreak is reminiscent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a virus from the same family that emerged in China in 2002 and killed nearly 800 people around the world out of the 8,000 or so who were infected.

American travelers who have been to China's Hubei province in the last 14 days will be subject to a quarantine of up to two weeks when they return to the U.S. This is the first federal quarantine in more than 50 years.

Robert Webster, an infectious-disease expert at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, told The Associated Press on Sunday that "it sounds and looks as if it's going to be a very highly transmissible virus". In a study published in the journal Nature, Shi Zhen-Li and colleagues at the Wuhan Institute of Virology reported that genome sequences from seven patients were 96 per cent identical to a bat coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a 42-year-old South Korean woman tested positive for the virus, days after she returned from a trip to Thailand with chills and other symptoms.

The CDC also said today they had submitted the diagnostic test now being used at laboratories in CDC headquarters for and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).



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