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Tech & Science Science Says: What to know about the viral outbreak in China

20:45  21 january  2020
20:45  21 january  2020 Source:   ap.org

China reports 4 more cases in viral pneumonia outbreak

  China reports 4 more cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Four more cases have been identified in a viral pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that has killed two people and prompted countries as far away as the United States to take precautionary measures. BEIJING (AP) — Four more cases have been identified in a viral pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that has killed two people and prompted countries as far away as the United States to take precautionary measures.

Travelers wear face masks as they wait their flight at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) © Provided by Associated Press Travelers wear face masks as they wait their flight at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Health officials around the world are keeping a close watch on an outbreak of a new virus in China. In response, governments are stepping up surveillance of airline passengers arriving from the affected area to try to prevent the virus from spreading.

China increasing measures to contain coronavirus outbreak

  China increasing measures to contain coronavirus outbreak China is increasing measures meant to contain a coronavirus outbreak ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays that may increase the spread of the illness, Reuters reported. The National Health Commission in Beijing encouraged local departments to work together on preventative measures and said on Sunday that it thinks the outbreak can be controlled.

Here's what you should know about the illnesses:

WHAT IS THE DISEASE?

Scientists have identified it as a new kind of coronavirus. There are many known types of coronaviruses. Some cause the common cold. Others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) or MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome).

WHY IS IT CALLED A CORONAVIRUS?

Corona comes from Latin and refers to crowns or halos. Under a microscope, these viruses resemble crowns or halos.

WHEN WAS THE NEW VIRUS FOUND?

The outbreak started late last month in the city of Wuhan in central China, apparently at a food market.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE IT AND HOW WIDESPREAD IS IT?

About 300 cases have been identified. There are about 260 cases in Wuhan, according to Chinese officials. Cases in other Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, total around 30. They were reported with the onset of an annual travel rush for the Lunar New Year holiday. Many Chinese travel abroad for the holiday and a few cases have been confirmed outside the mainland — in South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. That travel rush is expected to spread the disease more widely.

China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak

  China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Seventeen more people in central China have been diagnosed with a new form of viral pneumonia that has killed two patients and placed other countries on alert as millions of Chinese travel for Lunar New Year holidays. In total, 62 cases of the novel coronavirus have been identified in the city of Wuhan, where the virus appears to have originated. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the new cases in a statement Sunday.Nineteen of those individuals have been discharged from the hospital, while two men in their 60s — one with severe preexisting conditions — have died from the illness. Eight are in critical condition.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Common symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough and fever. Shortness of breath, chills and body aches are associated with more dangerous kinds of coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HOW ARE CORONAVIRUSES SPREAD?

Many coronaviruses can spread through coughing or sneezing, or by touching an infected person. Initially, authorities in China said there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission in the present outbreak. But an expert panel has concluded there have been at least a few cases of people catching it from others, raising the possibility it could spread more widely.

COULD IT BE AS BAD AS SARS?

So far, the virus appears less dangerous and infectious than SARS, which also started in China and killed about 800 people. As of Tuesday, six deaths had been reported, all in Wuhan. Viruses can mutate into more dangerous and contagious forms, and it's too early to say what will happen with this one.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Coronavirus cases confirmed in all Chinese regions .
With one of the 7,711 confirmed cases reported in Tibet, the virus is now in every region of China.Chinese health authorities have said there were 7,711 confirmed cases in the country as of 29 January.

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