Four 'generations' of spread seen with virus in China, alarming experts

Marco Green
January 24, 2020

But for those with a weaker immune system, the virus could cause more serious illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis.

A World Health Organization spokesman said: "We are not declaring a public emergency of worldwide concern today".

Khan, who is an infectious disease physician and founder and CEO of global disease tracker BlueDot, was able to alert global health authorities to its spread once he first detected the virus in late December.

Over the last few days, researchers have released papers studying the genetic sequence of the virus, concluding that it could have originated from snakes or bats, before being transmitted to humans.

As of 10am local time, all trains, buses, railways and ferries traveling to and from Wuhan have halted operations until further notice in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, with the government calling on the city's 11 million residents to refrain from leaving without "special reasons".

China's coronavirus is spreading fast, with cases rising "by the minute".

Authorities in neighbouring Huanggang city also announced public transport and train services would be suspended at midnight, while people were told to not leave the city of 7.5 million.

Three other cities in the province had restrictions announced on their public transport or roads, including Lichuan, a city with a population of almost 1 million.

He stressed though that "we hope that they will be both effective and short in their duration".

"The decision is one I take extremely seriously and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director-general, said during the press conference, referring to whether to declare a public health emergency.

Five people in Quebec who had recently travelled to China and displayed symptoms of a respiratory virus have been tested for coronavirus. "Here at the University of Edinburgh we have more than 2,000 students from China and they are always coming and going back to China so we are relatively sure we will have cases in the United Kingdom from travellers coming back from China".

That person is a 53-year-old woman from Wuhan.

"Three further people are also undergoing testing on a similar precautionary basis". Singapore and Vietnam confirmed their first cases on Thursday.

The WHO has confirmed that the virus can be passed between people, at least those in close contact.

Here in B.C., health officials are "closely monitoring" the outbreak.

Canada's chief public health officer said earlier this week the risk to Canadians of contracting the virus remains low, but airports in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal - all of which have direct flights from China - would begin screening passengers as one measure of defence. The virus was initially linked to workers at a seafood market in the city.

How did China's coronavirus outbreak start?

But citizen are wary, remembering how authorities covered up the SARS outbreak from 2002 to 2004, which - experts say - led to so many deaths.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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