Economy

Second person-to-person coronavirus transmission reported in US, CDC says

"I don't think that these two cases change the risk to the general public", said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody.

Travel and tourism shares also plummeted after a series of governments and airlines imposed drastic restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.

Across the USA, 167 people have tested negative for the virus, while tests are pending for 82 others, the CDC said.

However, with the death toll surging in Wuhan and elsewhere in Hubei province, it was not immediately clear what overall impact the hospitals would have on the virus spreading elsewhere. Worldwide, more than 17,000 cases have been reported on four continents.

The CDC says an epidemic is an "increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area".

Chinese scientists said they have more evidence the virus, which was first detected in Wuhan in December, likely originated in bats.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced a second case of transmission of the new coronavirus within the United States and provided more detailed plans on how it will handle travellers returning from China as the country works to limit the outbreak.

China is building a second hospital in Wuhan with 1,600 beds.

A number of those under observation recently returned from China aboard two specially-equipped Air India flights sent to the country evacuate Indian citizens, many of them students studying overseas.

Flights with U.S. government employees being evacuated by the State department will go to military bases.

The CDC confirmed the first case of 2019-nCoV in the US on January 21.

The Chinese government has criticized the United States' response to the coronavirus outbreak, including the newly implemented travel restrictions.

Summer Lin is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter.

At the same time, the head of the World Health Organization said Monday in Geneva that it was working with Google to ensure that searches about the new virus turned up information from the United Nations health agency first, part of efforts to fight "rumors and misinformation" about the outbreak.

WHO's Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the spread outside of China so far appears to be "minimal and slow". When sitework began for the first hospital on January 23, the death toll in China was 26 with 830 people diagnosed with the virus. All Hubei schools are postponing the start of the new semester until further notice.

With more countries imposing restrictions on travelers from China, and reports of discrimination against Chinese overseas, the country's diplomats began speaking out.

Chinese ambassador in Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan expressed worries over Chinese people being turned away by restaurants and taxis in the Indian Ocean island nation.



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