Calm urged as China's coronavirus reaches Australia with four confirmed cases

Henrietta Strickland
January 25, 2020

The coronavirus has killed at least 41 people and infected nearly 1,300 since its discovery in the city of Wuhan.

Liang Wudong, a doctor at Hubei Xinhua Hospital who had been at the front line of the #CoronavirusOutbreak battle in Wuhan, dies from the virus at age 62. About two dozen cases in all have been confirmed outside mainland China, almost all of them in Asia: Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Nepal, Australia and Malaysia.

The local South China Morning Post newspaper reported a marathon in Hong Kong that was expected to draw 70,000 participants on February 9 was cancelled. Three of those cases were confirmed in the 24 hours to Saturday morning.

French authorities reported Europe's first confirmed cases on Friday evening.

One victim, Xia Qianqing, 36, told how she went to hospital in early January after feeling sick but was told her condition was not serious enough.

The cases largely involve people who had recently travelled from the affected region in China.

In addition, 19 provinces reported 1118 new suspected cases with 30 provinces now reporting at least one case. "It requires travel to China or being exposed to somebody who has been exposed to the virus or has infection with the virus", says Zervos.

Malaysia confirmed its first three cases on Saturday.

The WHO said on Thursday it was a "bit too early" to designate the outbreak a public health emergency of global concern, which would require countries to step up their response.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said the two men, aged between 30 and 60, were not particularly unwell but were being kept in hospital.

"The New Jersey Department of Health works with hospitals and local health departments throughout respiratory virus and flu season on hundreds of disease outbreaks each year and we are prepared - along with our partners - to respond to potential novel coronavirus cases". The patient, who hasn't been identified, is reportedly doing well but remains hospitalized in an isolated room to limit the risk of the infection spreading. The government said that surveillance has been increased at the airport "and suspicious patients entering Nepal are being monitored".

The health ministry said a South Korean man in his 50s started experiencing symptoms while working in Wuhan on Jan 10. On admission, the patient had chest tightness, shortness of breath, accelerated heart rate, positive coronavirus nucleic acid test, and was diagnosed with viral pneumonia, respiratory failure, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. Both remain in treatment and are in stable conditions.

Taiwan has uncovered three cases so far.

Common symptoms of the coronavirus, thought to have originated in Wuhan, central China, include fever, sore throat and breathing difficulties, with more acute cases being chills and muscle pain.

All arrivals from the rest of China - including Hong Kong and Macau - must fill out health declaration forms on arrival.

This is in addition to medical staff who are already permanently in place at all United Kingdom airports, the Department of Health said.

In the U.S.as of Friday, 63 patients in 22 states are under investigation for the Wuhan coronavirus, and 11 of those have tested negative, according to the CDC. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it had confirmed a second infection, in IL.

Morrison said that, as per previous advice from the Chief Medical Officer, "It was always expected that Australia would see cases of this virus".

There is growing anger within Wuhan that authorities did not do enough in the initial days of the outbreak to determine the extent of the spread of the virus, with misdiagnosis due to limited testing kits, lack of staff and space for patients rampant.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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