Updated: 2/9/2020 6:15:22 AM
More than 37,500 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide. The death toll in mainland China from the coronavirus has surged to 811, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.
More people have now died from coronavirus in China than did worldwide during the 2002-2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), with the total number of infections in the country rising to 37.198.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday the virus was still concentrated in Hubei, and that over the previous four days there appeared to have been a slight stabilization in the number of cases.
However, he said it was still too early to say whether or not the virus has plateaued, as epidemics can often slow down before accelerating again.
Hong Kong on Saturday implemented a mandatory two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving from mainland China. Visitors are being told to isolate themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centers, while residents are required to stay in their homes.
Flouting the new rules will be punishable with a fine and a prison sentence. There have been 26 confirmed cases of the virus in Hong Kong.
On Saturday, France confirmed five new cases in its Haute-Savoie region, including a nine-year-old boy, which brings the total of infected people in the country to 11. French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said all of the five new cases were British nationals staying in the same chalet, which had also housed a Briton who had been in Singapore. Their condition is not said to be serious. A further six people who stayed at the chalet are under observation.
A British man has tested positive for coronavirus in the Spanish island of Mallorca, the second case of the new virus to be confirmed in the country, Spain's National Centre for Microbiology said.
A study published Friday in the medical journal JAMA found that 41% of the first 138 patients diagnosed at one hospital in Wuhan, China, were presumed to be infected in that hospital. In plain English, it means that nearly half of the initial infections in this hospital appear to have been spread within the hospital itself.
most spread doesn't appear to have been the result of a so-called "super-spreader event," in which a single patient transmits the infection to many other people. In these events, a procedure such as a bronchoscopy - where a doctor inserts a tube into the patient's lungs - can result in many infections. Many health care workers and many patients got infected in many parts of the hospital. What's more, since there's a broad spectrum of infection and only patients who were sick were tested, it's quite likely that there was even more transmission in the hospital.
Updated: 2/2/2020 7:51:50 AM
Quarantine in Wuhan is being expanded, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus began.
The Chinese government has delivered on its promise to build a hospital for coronavirus patients at the epicenter of the outbreak within 10 days. About 1.400 military medics will begin working at the hospital on Monday, according to state news media. The building, in the city of Wuhan, spans roughly 365.000 square feet and has been fitted with 1.000 beds.
Another specialty hospital that is due to have 1,500 beds is also being constructed in Wuhan, is expected to be completed this week.
New Zealand today (Sunday) became the latest country to impose restrictions on travelers from mainland China, saying it would deny entry to visitors departing from or transiting through the mainland for two weeks starting on Monday. The Philippines, the United States, and Australia have expanded travel restrictions, temporarily barring noncitizens who have recently traveled to China. South Korea and Japan are barring noncitizens who traveled recently to Hubei.
A 44-year-old man in the Philippines has died of the coronavirus, health officials said on Sunday, making him the first known death outside China. The man, a resident of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus, died on Saturday after developing what officials called “severe pneumonia.”
Updated: 1/30/2020 1:06:51 PM
The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern after an emergency committee reconvened Thursday in Geneva.
Last week, the organization said the virus did not yet constitute the emergency declaration. But with rising numbers and evidence of person-to-person transmission in a handful of cases outside of China, WHO leadership called the committee back together due to the “potential for a much larger outbreak,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters earlier this week.
Italian authorities lifted the lockdown on the Costa Smeralda cruise ship after two of its passengers were tested for coronavirus and the tests came back negative. Over 6,500 people can now disembark, the Italian Health Ministry said.
Russia is closing its border with China until the end of February. British Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, and other airlines suspended flights to China. Israel has banned all flights from China from landing on Israeli airports.
Updated: 1/27/2020 1:39:59 PM
The death toll of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has reached at least 81, and the virus has infected more than 2,800 people.
China seems to have suppressed information about the illness in its early days. At least eight people were arrested in China, accused of "publishing or forwarding false information on the internet without verification" about the coronavirus. Journalists reported being threatened and detained after reporting on the virus.
So far, the virus has spread to 13 other countries, including the US, France, Australia, and Japan. Experts expect that the true number of people infected is much higher than the official total.
While health officials have said they think this coronavirus will be milder than SARS, Wuhan has been quarantined, and at least 12 other cities have imposed travel restrictions, affecting an estimated 33 million people.
Updated: 1/26/2020 7:47:34 AM
Chinese president Xi Jinping has warned the spread of the virus is "accelerating".
Public Health organizations are advising anyone who has been to Wuhan within the past 14 days and has developed respiratory symptoms to call the hospital.
Those symptoms include a cough, a sneeze, shortness of breath, or a fever. People who are concerned should phone ahead before going to any medical facility and mention their recent travel to the city or contact with people who may be infected.
A nationwide ban on wildlife trade is in place and more than 56 million people in almost 20 cities are affected by travel restrictions, which have been introduced amid fears the transmission rate will balloon as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year celebrations. The Lunar New Year holiday, traditionally celebrated by hundreds of millions of Chinese traveling around the country and abroad to see family, began on Friday but has been severely disrupted by the outbreak.
Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a pandemic as more countries report cases. Confirmed cases have so far been announced in Europe, North America and several Asian countries.
Published Sunday, January 26, 2020
China's coronavirus has killed 26 people and infected 830 as of Friday, January 24, 2020, the National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed. The worsening case prompted more cities in Hubei province to restrict travel, following the lockdown of Wuhan-- the center of the infection.
Hundreds of medical personnel are being deployed to Wuhan, China, and affected areas to treat the ill and stem the outbreak.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These viruses are common amongst animals worldwide. Rarely, coronaviruses can evolve and spread from animals to humans. This is what happened with the coronaviruses known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-Cov), both of which are known to cause more severe symptoms.
China announced 15 more deaths from the new coronavirus on Sunday morning, including one in Shanghai, the first reported in the metropolis.
Thirteen deaths were also announced in Hubei Province, where the outbreak began, and one was announced in Henan Province. That brought the toll in China to 56.
NHC also confirmed that the number of cases had jumped to 830, with 177 deemed severe. Cases were also confirmed in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and the United States. Across China, 688 new cases were diagnosed on Saturday, the government said early Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,975.
As of Friday morning, 10 patients in California, one in Texas, and one in Tennessee were being isolated as they await test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There have been mild cases where observation has shown that the patients were contagious during the incubation period. The incubation period is around 10 days,” said Ma Xiaowei, director of China’s National Health and Health Commission. “The shortest time before the disease’s onset was one day. The longest was 14 days. This is very different from SARS.”
The CDC says that human coronaviruses are most commonly spread between an infected person and others via:
- the air (from viral particles from a cough or sneeze),
- close personal contact (touching or shaking hands),
- an object or surface with viral particles on it (then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands),
- and rarely from fecal contamination.
Symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are similar to those caused by SARS.
Despite sharing some symptoms that were similar to SARS, there "are some important differences," such as the absence of upper respiratory tract symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and sore throat and intestinal symptoms like diarrhea, which affected 20% to 25% of SARS patients, lead author Bin Cao, from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and the Capital Medical University, both in Beijing, said in a statement.
The Chinese government has stopped most of the travel to and from Wuhan as well as 12 other nearby cities, according to The New York Times. This "lockdown" affects about 35 million people, the Times reported. On Sunday, Taiwan's government announced they would not allow in anyone from the Hubei Province, the Times reported.
Major airports in the U.S. are conducting screenings to make sure incoming passengers aren't infected.
The CDC also recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Wuhan. On Jan. 23, the U.S. State Department ordered all non-emergency U.S. personnel and family to leave Wuhan, the department said in a statement.
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