China coronavirus: Patients in Scotland tested for coronavirus

Andrew Cummings
January 24, 2020

A SARS-like virus has claimed 17 lives since emerging on December 31 in a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

So far, the virus, known as 2019-nCoV, has sickened more than 640 people around the world, with cases reaching as far as the U.S. and leaving 18 dead.

The US, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan have all confirmed cases, while four suspected sufferers are being tested in Scotland.

The Mexican professor who became ill on Monday, works at a university in Reynosa, which is just across the border from McAllen.

U.S. health officials started screening passengers arriving from China at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport after the first case was confirmed in Washington state on Tuesday.

He warned that the spread of the virus might increase as more people travelled around for Chinese New Year, within China and to other countries. Officials say he is in a good condition and approached authorities himself after reading about the virus in news reports.

The lockdown comes as millions of Chinese people travel across the country for the forthcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

Starting Thursday, Wuhan authorities suspended public transport in and out of the city to prevent the spread of the virus.

Streets and shopping centres in Wuhan were eerily quiet after authorities told residents not to leave the major city of 11 million people, where most of the cases have been identified. One case was confirmed Thursday in Hong Kong after one was earlier confirmed in Macao. All forms public transportation are closed and airports are shut down.

Wuhan's special anti-virus command centre said the quarantine measures were meant to "effectively cut off the virus spread", according to state media.

The travel hub receives over 430 flights from China every week.

Although most coronaviruses cause mild cold-like symptoms, two types - SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) - can be fatal, having killed around 1,500 people between them in recent years.

Here is what we know so far: * Chinese state television reported on Thursday there were 634 cases in China. They are still trying to determine whether spread among people is limited or whether it might be spreading in a sustained manner, meaning it easily passes from one person to the next and then onward. As of now, 17 people who caught the disease are confirmed to have died.

At present, the number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus form in China has risen to at least 571. He was transferred to Providence Medical Center in Everett, Washington, but is doing well, said Washington health official Dr. Scott Lindquist.

But scientists at the Imperial College in London estimate that 4,000 people have been infected in Wuhan.

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