People in China Cautious, But Not Worried About New Virus

Henrietta Strickland
January 13, 2020

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said that seven other people were in critical condition.

According to information from the Chinese officials, investigation, epidemiological investigations revealed that the patients are mainly business operators at a market called "Hua Nan Seafood Wholesale Market" in Wuhan, which has been closed since January 1.

One of Wuhan's largest meat and seafood markets was pinpointed as the centre of the mysterious pneumonia outbreak and was shut down on January 1. It also noted that the infected people were mainly vendors and buyers at the seafood market.

There is no evidence that the new virus is readily spread by humans, which would make it particularly risky as no medical workers have contracted the disease.

Earlier this week, Chinese scientists reported they had recovered the virus from an infected person and generated its genetic sequence.

Chinese scientists submitted the gene sequencing data for posting on Virological.org, a hub for prepublication data created to assist with public health activities and research.

On January 5, Wuhan reported 59 viral pneumonia cases with causes unknown previously.

As of Friday night, 41 people had been diagnosed with pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause a number of respiratory ailments of varying severity, the local health authority said in a separate statement Saturday (link in Chinese).

It has also confirmed that respiratory pathogens such as influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) were ruled out as the cause.

Coronaviruses can cause infections ranging from the common cold to SARS.

The health authorities said they have been monitoring 739 contacts of people who became sick, including 419 health workers, but none of them appear to have contracted the virus.

"We still do not know the host or possible intermediary host of this virus", it said.

"I said I should be fine, so I came", he told AFP after checking out of his hotel on Sunday, wearing a face mask as a precaution nonetheless.

In an update on the cluster of pneumonia cases detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, we got additional information today from Chinese and Hong Kong authorities. The WHO has said that "from the now available information, preliminary investigation suggests that there is no significant human-to-human transmission".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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