China virus outbreak not spreading at present

Henrietta Brewer
January 13, 2020

On January 11, Wuhan Municipal Health Commission confirmed the first death of a pneumonia outbreak caused by a new strain of coronavirus. Seven are in severe condition, one died. It's also important to mention that the World Health Organization said that preliminary epidemiological investigations showed that most of the cases were found in people who either worked at the market or went there often. This market has been closed since January 1, 2020. The report was quickly translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board, and the details also appeared in an English language statement from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP).

It's the first reported case of someone outside China being infected with the novel virus, which has captured global attention because of similarities with the one that sparked Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, 17 years ago.


Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul (2nd right) shows visitors from Wuhan receiving health screening at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province on Jan 5. At the time, experts said that more research was needed to confirm that the novel virus was the cause of the outbreak of the pneumonia cases, but the Saturday statement from the Wuhan health authorities said all 41 people had been infected with the virus.

The outbreak triggered fears on social media that the nation might be experiencing a return of the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus.


Based on the current reports, there's no obvious evidence of human-to-human spread yet, Osterholm said, noting that red flags, for example, would be infections in patients' family members who weren't at the market and infections in healthcare workers.

While no infection has been recorded to date in Vietnam, Vietnamese health authorities have begun to check those coming in from China through the border gates. There had not been any human-to-human transmission of the virus.


China claimed that the pneumonia-like sickness is not transmitted from person to person and of all people that have fallen ill so far, only one has died. The pandemic, which killed nearly 800 people globally, disrupted world travel and trade, and China was criticized for initially trying to cover up the extent of the situation and not sharing information with other affected countries.

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