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  #631  
Old 01-10-2020, 07:37 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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MEASLES
CONGO

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/6000-...E8I1CUd_OJZxOI

Quote:
6,000 Dead From Measles Outbreak In Congo, WHO Says
Measles has killed nearly three times as many people in Congo than an Ebola outbreak in the country that has garnered far more international attention.

Spoiler:
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The death toll from a measles epidemic in Congo has surpassed 6,000, the World Health Organization said Tuesday as it warned that more funds are needed to save lives during the world’s worst outbreak of the infectious disease.

Measles has killed nearly three times as many people in Congo than an Ebola outbreak in the country that has garnered far more international attention, particularly after health teams came under attack from armed militias operating in the area.

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“Lack of funding remains a huge impediment to successfully curbing the outbreak,” WHO said in announcing its appeal.

While $27.6 million already has been mobilized to curb the measles epidemic, WHO said that $40 million is needed for a special six-month plan to vaccinate older children between the ages of 6 and 14.

A vaccine against measles has existed for decades but some 310,000 cases have been reported in Congo since the beginning of 2019. Health workers in Congo struggle to access remote parts of the vast country, and vaccination rates remain low in areas where armed groups operate.

Many health resources in Congo this year also have been devoted to the simultaneous outbreak of Ebola, which has become the second worst in history after the 2014-2016 West Africa epidemic. At least 2,231 people have died of Ebola since that outbreak was first identified in August 2018.


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  #632  
Old 01-13-2020, 06:42 AM
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MEASLES
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/09/healt...ent/index.html

Quote:
A college student in Boston was diagnosed with measles. Health officials say many people may have been exposed

Spoiler:
(CNN)A student at Northeastern University in Boston was diagnosed with measles and may have exposed many others to the highly contagious disease, Boston health officials said Thursday.

The infected person, who was not identified, visited Logan International Airport and numerous places on and off-campus from January 3 to 6, the Boston Public Health Commission said.
The student went to at least 10 stores and cafes as well as dorms, dining halls, and classrooms at Northeastern University during those three days, health officials said.
The commission asked people to call their doctor if they have been at the university or in the following locations during these dates and is unclear of their immunization status or if they develop a fever before January 27, 2020.
Friday, January 3, (night)
Logan International Airport Terminal E
Saturday, January 4
Blick Art Materials, 333 Massachusetts Avenue
Tatte Bakery & Café at the Marino Center, 369 Huntington Avenue
Wollaston Market in the Marino Center, 369 Huntington Avenue
Sunday, January 5
CVS, 231 Massachusetts Avenue
Monday, January 6
Rebecca's Café at Churchill Hall, 360 Huntington Avenue
AT&T store, 699 Boylston Street
Uniqlo, Newbury 341 Newbury Street
Brandy Melville, 351 Newbury Street
Amelia's Taqueria, 1076 Boylston Street
The student was diagnosed with measles on Wednesday. It is the second confirmed case of the contagious disease in Boston in the past three months. A Boston resident was diagnosed in October but there have not been any cases since 2013, the commission said.
The measles virus spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live in the air where an infected person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours. If someone who is not immune to the virus breathes the air or touches an infected surface, they can become infected, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What you need to know about measles as the virus spreads across the country
What you need to know about measles as the virus spreads across the country
Symptoms of measles generally include a high fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis and a red splotchy rash.
"Measles is a dangerous disease and can cause serious complications, but it is preventable. The best way for everyone to protect themselves is to get vaccinated. If you don't know your immunity status, call your health care provider," said Jennifer Lo, medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission.
Measles was declared eliminated in the United States nearly two decades ago, but there has been an upsurge of cases in recent years as vaccination rates have declined.
Those who have received two measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations are safe from the disease.
Before the development of a vaccine in 1963, about 3 to 4 million Americans were infected yearly, including 48,000 hospitalizations and 400 to 500 deaths, according to the CDC.
In 2010, there were only 63 reported US cases. As of October 2019, there were 1,250 measles cases in the US, the greatest number in nearly three decades.

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Old 01-16-2020, 07:15 AM
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CORONAVIRUS
JAPAN
CHINA

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...012730381.html
Quote:
Japan confirms first case of coronavirus infection
Man from Kanagawa had reportedly travelled to Wuhan and was hospitalised with a fever after returning to Japan.


Spoiler:
Japan has confirmed the first case of infection from the new coronavirus that been reported in China, the health ministry announced on Thursday.

A man in his 30s from Kanagawa prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, tested positive, the ministry said.

The man had been to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where there has been an outbreak of pneumonia believed to be caused by the new coronavirus strain, it said.

More:
Alarms raised in China as pneumonia outbreaks infect dozens
China reports first death from mysterious outbreak in Wuhan
More SARS cases diagnosed in China
He reportedly returned from China to Japan with a fever and was hospitalised. He was released on Wednesday after the symptoms subsided, according to the health ministry statement.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier warned that the new virus could spread and alerted hospitals worldwide.

On Monday, a Chinese woman was also ordered quarantined in Thailand after contacting the virus, authorities said.


Spread of MERS-virus 'just a matter of time' (1:55)
Authorities in Asia have stepped up monitoring at airports ahead of next week's Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists are expected to travel domestically and abroad.

On Wednesday, the US State Department also issued a health alert about travel to the Wuhan region. It referenced a Watch Level 1 Alert by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging citizens travelling in the region to avoid contact with animals, animal markets or animal products, among other precautions.

On Saturday, Chinese authorities announced that a 61-year-old man died from pneumonia, a symptom of the disease, in Wuhan.

In total, 41 cases of pneumonia have been reported in China, which preliminary lab tests cited by Chinese state media show could have been caused by a new type of coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can lead to infections ranging from the common cold to SARS. Some of the virus types cause less serious disease, while some like the one that causes MERS, are far more severe. SARS originated in southern China in 2002 and infected more than 8,000 people in 37 countries before it was brought under control. Nearly 800 people died.

"The possibility of cases being identified in other countries was not unexpected and reinforces why WHO calls for on-going active monitoring and preparedness in other countries," WHO said in a statement.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been consulting international experts on the public health risks of the outbreak to decide whether an emergency meeting is needed, it said.


https://www.who.int/csr/don/12-janua...irus-china/en/
Quote:
Novel Coronavirus – China
Disease outbreak news : Update
12 January 2020


Spoiler:
On 11 and 12 January 2020, WHO received further detailed information from the National Health Commission about the outbreak.

WHO is reassured of the quality of the ongoing investigations and the response measures implemented in Wuhan, and the commitment to share information regularly.

The evidence is highly suggestive that the outbreak is associated with exposures in one seafood market in Wuhan. The market was closed on 1 January 2020. At this stage, there is no infection among healthcare workers, and no clear evidence of human to human transmission. The Chinese authorities continue their work of intensive surveillance and follow up measures, as well as further epidemiological investigations.

Among the 41 confirmed cases, there has been one death. This death occurred in a patient with serious underlying medical conditions.

China shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus on 12 January, which will be of great importance for other countries to use in developing specific diagnostic kits.

The cluster was initially reported on 31 December 2019, when the WHO China Country Office was informed. The Chinese authorities identified a new type of coronavirus (novel coronavirus, nCoV), which was isolated on 7 January 2020. Laboratory testing was conducted on all suspected cases identified through active case finding and retrospective review. Other 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.

According to information conveyed to WHO by Chinese authorities on 11 and 12 January, 41 cases with novel coronavirus infection have been preliminarily diagnosed in Wuhan City. Of the 41 cases reported, seven are severely ill. This is when the one death, mentioned above, was reported, in a patient with other underlying health conditions. Six patients have been discharged from hospital. Symptom onset of the 41 confirmed nCoV cases ranges from 8 December 2019 to 2 January 2020. No additional cases have been detected since 3 January 2020.

The clinical signs and symptoms reported are mainly fever, with a few cases having difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing invasive pneumonic infiltrates in both lungs. National authorities report that patients have been isolated and are receiving treatment in Wuhan medical institutions.

According to the preliminary epidemiological investigation, most cases worked at or were handlers and frequent visitors to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. The government reports that there is no clear evidence that the virus passes easily from person to person.

Currently, no case with infection of this novel coronavirus has been reported elsewhere other than Wuhan.

Public Health Response
China's National Health Commission has deployed a group of experts to Wuhan City to support the local response.

National authorities have reported the following response measures:

A total of 763 close contacts including healthcare workers, have been identified and followed up and no additional cases of infection with the novel coronavirus have been identified;
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission carried out active case finding, and retrospective investigations of the current cluster of patients have been completed
The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market has been temporarily closed to carry out environmental sanitation and disinfection;
Public risk communication activities have been carried out to improve public awareness and adoption of self-protection measures.
WHO is closely monitoring the situation and is in regular contact with national authorities in China to provide support required. Technical guidance on novel coronavirus has been developed and will continue to be updated as additional information is available.

WHO risk assessment
To date, investigations are still under way to assess the full extent of the outbreak.

Wuhan city is a major domestic and international transport hub. To date, there have been no reported cases outside of Wuhan City.

More comprehensive information and ongoing investigations are also required to better understand the epidemiology, clinical picture, source, modes of transmission, and extent of infection; as well as the countermeasures implemented.

WHO advice
Based on information provided by national authorities, WHO’s recommendations on public health measures and surveillance for novel coronaviruses apply.

WHO does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers. In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, travellers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share travel history with their healthcare provider. Travel guidance has been updated.

WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China based on the information currently available on this event.


https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/15/asia/...hnk/index.html
Quote:
China's new SARS-like virus has spread to Japan, but we still know very little about it

Spoiler:
(CNN)Fears are mounting across Asia over the cross-border spread of a new coronavirus identified in China that has killed one patient and sickened dozens, as health authorities race to identify the source of the pathogen.

The new strain of coronavirus, in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), originated in Wuhan, the largest city in central China. It was confirmed Thursday to have been detected in Japan, a few days after Thailand confirmed its first case of infection.
The outbreak has cast a shadow over Lunar New Year celebrations and put the rest of Asia on alert. Virologists around the world are now studying its genome sequence shared by Chinese researchers, but many questions still remain.
Researchers have yet to rule out the possibility that the virus could be transmitted from person to person, and on Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Watch Level 1 Alert -- the lowest of a three-tier travel health notices that warns visitors of Wuhan to "be aware and practice usual precautions."
Two cases detected outside China
On Thursday, Japanese authorities confirmed that a man who had traveled to Wuhan was infected with the virus.
The man, in his 30s, lives in the coastal Kanagawa Prefecture just south of Tokyo. He developed a high fever on January 3 while in Wuhan, and returned three days later to Japan, where he was tested positive for the virus, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
He has since recovered and was discharged from hospital on Wednesday, the ministry said. He said he had not visited the seafood market linked to the outbreak while in Wuhan.
The confirmation comes just days after Thai authorities said a Chinese tourist arriving from Wuhan had been quarantined with the new virus, the first time it had been detected outside China.
According to the World Health Organization, the 61-year-old woman also said she had not been to the seafood market in Wuhan. But she did report "a history of visiting a local fresh market in Wuhan on a regular basis prior to the onset of illness" on January 5, the WHO said in a statement.
The first, and the majority, of the infected cases in Wuhan have been traced to the Nanhua Wholesale Seafood Market, which has been shut down for disinfection since January 1. Wuhan health authorities said on Wednesday that some "environmental samples" taken from the market tested positive for the virus.
Apart from fish, the market also sold other live animals, including birds, rabbits and snakes -- sparking concerns that the virus might have been transmitted to humans from animals, just like SARS and MERS.
The seafood market at the center of China's pneunomia outbreak has been closed down.
The seafood market at the center of China's pneunomia outbreak has been closed down.
Leo Poon, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong who was among the first to decode the SARS coronavirus, said the Thai case suggests two possibilities: the woman was either infected by an animal in another market, or by another person.
The first possibility would mean that the source of the new virus is more widespread than authorities previously believed, and the second would indicate its ability to transmit between humans -- which could turn a local outbreak into a global pandemic.
"I think the first possibility is more likely," Poon said. "This also reiterates the issue of food safety -- the risk of selling exotic animals in markets should be assessed now and new policy should be established as soon as possible."
China -- and the world -- has paid a heavy price for the consumption of wild animals. The SARS epidemic from November 2002 to July 2003 killed 774 people after spreading to 37 countries. The coronavirus was traced to the civet cat, a wild animal considered a delicacy in parts of southern China, where the epidemic began.
But Professor Poon and other experts in Hong Kong said the possibility of human-to-human transmission cannot be excluded.
Can it be transmitted between humans?
The question of transmission between humans is particularly crucial as China's busy Lunar New Year travel season has recently begun. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are expected to be crammed into trains, buses and planes for family reunions. Millions of Chinese are also expected to travel overseas around Lunar New Year, which falls on January 25.
Chinese health authorities and the WHO had long maintained that there is no "obvious evidence" of human-to-human transmission, and that no health care workers have been infected by the new coronavirus. But early on Friday, while maintaining the lack of clear evidence of such a transmission, Wuhan health authorities said in an announcement that "the possibility of human to human transmission cannot be excluded."
It reported a case where a couple were infected by the new coronavirus. The husband, who caught the illness first, worked at the Nanhua Wholesale Seafood Market, but the wife said she had no direct exposure to the market. A few other infected patients also denied they had any exposure to the market.
Migrant workers wait outside the Guangzhou train station before returning home because of the worry over SARS during the deadly epidemic in 2003.
Migrant workers wait outside the Guangzhou train station before returning home because of the worry over SARS during the deadly epidemic in 2003.
To gain more understanding of the outbreak, a group of Hong Kong experts traveled to Wuhan this week to meet with Chinese authorities and visit the hospital where those infected were quarantined.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Communicable Disease department at Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, said that it is possible that the husband had transmitted the disease to his wife a few days after he was infected, and therefore human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out.
But the risk of sustained transmission between humans is low, given that no medical workers have been infected, Chuang said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Not as lethal as SARS
For now, the new coronavirus appears to not be as lethal or contagious as SARS or MERS. Its symptoms are mainly fever and coughing, with a number of patients having difficulty breathing.
A mysterious virus is making China (and the rest of Asia) nervous. It's not SARS, so what is it?
A mysterious virus is making China (and the rest of Asia) nervous. It's not SARS, so what is it?
As of Thursday, six patients remain in critical condition. Among them, some have renal and liver failures, and two are relying on life support, said Raymond Lai Wai-man, the chief infection control officer of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, who is among the group that visited Wuhan.
Compared with 2003, when Chinese officials initially covered up the extent of the SARS outbreak, authorities in the country have been more open and timely in sharing information this time around.
Apart from inviting experts from Hong Kong and Taiwan to visit Wuhan, Chinese researchers have also shared the genome sequence of the new coronavirus with the WHO.
"Additional investigation is needed to ascertain the presence of human-to-human transmission, modes of transmission, common source of exposure and the presence of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases that are undetected," the WHO said in the statement. "It is critical to review all available information to fully understand the potential transmissibility among humans."

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  #634  
Old 01-16-2020, 09:43 PM
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UNITED STATES
SEASONAL FLU

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ion-topstories

Quote:
'This is very strange': Rare early emergence of influenza B virus puts children at higher risk

Spoiler:
As an infectious disease specialist for the better part of four decades, Bernhard “Bud’’ Wiedermann has deep expertise on a range of illnesses, from malaria to Lyme disease to recurrent fevers.

This year’s flu season has thrown him a curveball, though it is thankfully one he can adjust to: A predominant influenza B virus for the first time in 27 years.

When outbreaks of the flu began a few weeks earlier than usual in the fall, Wiedermann and his colleagues at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., noticed a leading cause was a virus that doesn’t typically emerge until the end of the season and is more likely to affect kids.

“All of us here when we started seeing that coming through, not only from the CDC data but from our own testing, we were like, ‘Wow, what’s going on? This is very strange,’’’ Wiedermann said.


Frightening:Flu blinds, nearly kills 4-year-old girl: 'There were no warning signs,' mom says

Though initial signs pointed to the powerful A(H3N2) strain as the biggest concern this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said most of the illnesses have been caused by B/Victoria viruses, followed by A(H1N1) viruses.

The impact has been particularly harsh in Louisiana, where a New Orleans pediatric care facility reported 1,268 confirmed B virus infections in children from July 31 to Nov. 21, leading to 23 hospitalizations.

Medical experts say it's not too late to get a flu shot, which at the least can help lessen the effects of the illness.
Nationwide, the CDC said flu activity is high and will remain that way for weeks, although the level of severity appears lesser than in the past. For the season, the agency has tallied at least 9.7 million cases of the flu, 87,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths.

More than 68% of the positive results from tests in clinical labs were linked to the influenza B virus, which had not been predominant since the 1992-93 season. Those infections have accounted for nearly half the hospitalizations reported to the CDC.

“I think there is a common misconception that influenza B viruses are associated with milder disease than flu A viruses,’’ CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. “Influenza B viruses can cause severe illness in people of all ages, including children and adults.’’

The symptoms are the same regardless of the virus: fever in many cases, as well as a sore throat, cough, body aches, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose and headaches. But one significant difference is this year’s dominant viruses figure to impact children and young adults more than older folks.

That makes it imperative for parents to make sure their kids get a flu shot, even at this point in the season, the CDC and Wiedermann said. In past years, about 75% of the children who died from the flu weren’t fully vaccinated.

Nordlund said data showing the effectiveness of this season’s vaccine at fighting off the prevalent viruses won’t be available until late February, and preliminary indications are mixed, but she reiterated that some protection is better than none. In addition, studies have shown the effects of contracting the flu are less severe on those who are vaccinated than on those who aren’t.

The CDC and Wiedermann emphasize the flu shot is effective and highly recommended for pregnant women regardless of their trimester, and also for children six months and older, who can take antivirals like Oseltamivir (known by the brand name Tamiflu) and others as early treatment or prevention.

Wiedermann, who’s also a professor of pediatrics at George Washington University, worries about the vulnerability of unvaccinated children to a virus that’s typically not a major concern at this time of the season.

“If we have the combination of not being immunized and being young enough that they haven’t seen the natural influenza B virus that much, that means we have whole lot of kids out there who aren’t immune to this virus,’’ Wiedermann said, “so we expect a lot of them to get infected.’’


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  #635  
Old 01-20-2020, 05:54 PM
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CHINA
CORONAVIRUS

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/18/chin...has-risen.html
Quote:
China reports new virus cases, raising concern globally before key holiday

Spoiler:
China reported four more cases of pneumonia believed to be caused by a new coronavirus strain, causing rising concern globally that a disease health officials do not yet fully understand could spread during a key holiday period.

The new virus, which was discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, belongs in the same large family of coronaviruses that includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.

Though experts say the new virus does not appear to be as lethal as SARS, there is little known about its origins and how easily it can spread. Thailand and Japan have confirmed new cases of the virus earlier this week, stoking worries globally as many of the 1.4 billion Chinese people will travel abroad during the Lunar New Year holidays that begin next week.

Authorities around the world including in the United States, Thailand and South Korea have stepped up monitoring of travellers from Wuhan as part of their efforts to prevent the disease from spreading.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned that a wider outbreak is possible, though it has advised against any travel restrictions for China.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission (WMHC) said on Saturday the four new individuals diagnosed with the new virus are in stable condition, adding it has confirmed 45 cases in the city as of Thursday. A day earlier, the commission confirmed the death of a second patient.

Nearly 50 people are now known to have been infected globally, but all of them either live in Wuhan or have travelled to the city.

A report published by the London Imperial College’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis said there are likely “substantially more cases” of the new coronavirus than currently announced by Wuhan authorities: its base scenario estimate is that there would be 1,723 cases showing onset of related symptoms by Jan. 12.

The WMHC referred Reuters queries about the report to the National Health Commission (NHC) and the Hubei provincial government, but the NHC and the Hubei government did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province.

Screening
U.S. authorities have said they would start screening at three airports to detect travellers arriving via direct or connecting flights from Wuhan who may have symptoms of the new virus.

In Asia, authorities in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have stepped up monitoring of passengers from Wuhan at airports. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines say they have strengthened screening at all points of entry in response to the outbreak, as well.

But Alexandra Phelan, global health legal expert at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, said such screening may be insufficient in preventing the virus from spreading as its symptoms, which include fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, are “quite general”.

“There are likely to be many individuals with matching symptoms due to an illness that is not 2019-nCoV,” Phelan said, referring to the new virus.


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...Rgod9OVemsENn8
Quote:
Coronavirus Is Spreading Quickly Across China, as Confirmed Cases Triple

Spoiler:
A newly identified virus originating in central China has spread quickly around the country and across Asia, infecting 156 new patients in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other densely-populated cities, and reaching South Korea for the first time—a major escalation in the pneumonia-like disease’s transmission.

The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus—part of a class of pathogens that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS—has more than tripled to 218 cases, according to Chinese state media and health authorities. It has claimed three lives.

President Xi Jinping on Monday urged authorities to make efforts to prevent and control the spreading infection, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. Officials should “release outbreak information in a timely manner and deepen international cooperation,” he said.

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Beijing, Shanghai and the southern metropolis of Shenzhen—three of the country’s biggest and most prosperous cities—confirmed a total of 14 patients infected with the pneumonia-causing virus, all of them on Monday, according to state media and local authorities.

South Korean authorities, meantime, said Monday that a 35-year-old Chinese woman who had flown into the country from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak first occurred, had contracted the coronavirus.

The sudden spread of the disease raises fresh concerns as tens of millions of Chinese citizens travel this week for the annual Lunar New Year, many of them to their hometowns. It is also likely to spark questions over the transparency of disclosures by Chinese health authorities.

China is working with other countries to prevent and control an outbreak, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular media briefing in Beijing on Monday. “We’ve formulated prevention and control plans, treated patients, monitored their close contacts, conducted epidemiological research and released information in a timely matter,” he said.

Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. China reported Monday a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus, including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak coincides with the country's busiest travel period, as millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)© ASSOCIATED PRESS Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. China reported Monday a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus, including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak coincides with the country's busiest travel period, as millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Health authorities in Wuhan, the densely populated city of 19 million people at the epicenter of the outbreak, said Monday that the number of patients infected with the new coronavirus has jumped to 198, from 62 on Sunday. The statement said 35 of those cases were severe, while nine were critical.

The death of a third infected patient occurred over the weekend, Wuhan authorities said Monday, without offering any specifics. In the case of the two earlier fatalities, authorities had previously said the men suffered from existing illnesses.

A number of Chinese provinces—including Shandong on the east coast, Sichuan in the interior and southwestern Yunnan and Guangxi on the border with Vietnam—are all monitoring suspected coronavirus cases of their own, state broadcaster China Central Television said Monday. Separately, five suspected cases were reported by health authorities in coastal Zhejiang province, just south of Shanghai on the country’s east coast.

While the newly discovered coronavirus is believed to be less serious than SARS, which killed hundreds of people after its outbreak in southern China in late 2002 and early 2003, the pneumonia-like virus is in the same class of pathogens and appears to be spreading quickly.

Chinese health authorities haven’t reached any conclusions about the new coronavirus’s origins and its spread. A number of patients were exposed to a large seafood and livestock wholesale market in Wuhan where the disease is believed to have first broken out, but others have said they didn’t visit the market and only came into contact with people in Wuhan.

The Wuhan market is close to the city’s main railway station, an important travel hub in the center of the country.

Chinese authorities haven’t ruled out the possibility of human-to-human transmission, although they have said the risk is low. The World Health Organization said Monday that the spread of the disease was likely the product of “some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts.”

Wuhan authorities didn’t mention human-to-human transmission in their latest statement. But they recommended that people wear a face mask and pay attention to fever and coughing symptoms.

In numerous instances, infected patients had traveled to Wuhan and showed symptoms of fever and fatigue.

The Chinese patient in South Korea had flown into Incheon International Airport from the Chinese city and was quarantined by airport authorities before being transferred to a medical center for treatment, according to South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Likewise, the previous three patients that have been identified outside China—two Chinese tourists in Thailand and a man from Japan—had all traveled from the Wuhan area.

South Korean authorities are in the process of identifying crew members and other passengers who were in close contact with the Chinese patient during her flight. They received reports of seven people with coronavirus-like symptoms and have released four of them. Authorities are separately monitoring 14 patients, according to Jung Eun-kyeong, director of KCDC.

In Shanghai, the one confirmed case was a 56-year-old female who had traveled from Wuhan, according to the city’s health authorities.

Beijing has five confirmed cases, according to state media; a district authority has said that two patients had returned from Wuhan.

One of the confirmed cases in southern Guangdong province is 10 years old, according to local authorities. Most of the other infected patients who have been identified by authorities have been elderly.

China’s national health commission said it has issued a new detection kit and is asking regional authorities to step up testing, which could uncover more previously unknown cases.

The sharp uptick since the weekend has sparked questions over whether authorities are underreporting cases or failing to disclose information in a timely fashion. At a hospital affiliated with Tsinghua University in the northern Beijing district of Changping, doctors believed that they had a coronavirus case, but were instructed not to disclose the information as of early Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman said Monday that the hospital would disclose information based on the city government’s instructions.

A separate independent estimate by scholars at Imperial College London said that more than 1,700 people in Wuhan are likely to have symptoms of the virus and could be infected with it, based on modeling of cases of the virus discovered in Thailand and Japan and estimates of the number of people passing through Wuhan’s international airport.

In the U.S., where no cases have so far been detected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection have begun screening people traveling from Wuhan for fevers, coughs or difficulty breathing.


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CORONAVIRUS
CHINA

https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/18...Xc6eUJaTtNIDxk

Quote:
China’s SARS-like virus spreading person-to-person: US

Spoiler:
MELBOURNE: A pneumonia outbreak in central China has widened with more than 200 people now diagnosed with the new SARS-like virus, as health experts say there’s now evidence that the illness is spreading from person to person.

Amid increased searching and testing for the novel virus among people with symptoms like fever and coughing, the number of cases in China surged over the weekend. With the Chinese New Year just days away -- a holiday season during which Chinese citizens rack up 3 billion trips across the country to reunite with family -- the virus’s spread is likely to intensify.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists are expected to visit Thailand over the holiday.

Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak, now has almost 200 confirmed cases, including three fatalities. Cases were also reported in Beijing and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Across the region, South Korea detected its first case, adding to those found in Thailand and Japan last week.

The surge in incidences, after the World Health Organization released guidance for diagnostic detection of the virus Friday, confirmed that the new pathogen is being transmitted among humans, and not just from animals to humans as was originally hoped.

China says virus spreading between humans as WHO set to meet
China confirms person-to-person spread of new virus, 4 dead
SARS-like virus spreads in China, nearly 140 new cases
But there are no reports yet of health-care workers being infected, a sign that the new virus is likely not as infectious as SARS, which killed almost 800 people 17 years ago.

“It is clear that there is at least some human-to-human transmission from the evidence we have, but we don’t have clear evidence that shows the virus has acquired the capacity to transmit among humans easily,” said Takeshi Kasai, the WHO’s regional director for the western pacific, in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday. “We need more information to analyse that.”

Countries across the world stepped up screening of incoming travellers ahead of the Chinese holiday that starts this Friday, a period of heightened travel for Chinese people. International airports in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco started screening from late Friday, joining cities in Asia that implemented surveillance measure days after the outbreak was reported on Dec 31.

In Wuhan, health-care workers spread out across the city of 11 million, screening for symptoms among people on planes and at railway stations.


“This is a situation where we’re going to see additional cases all around the world as folks look for it more,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the US’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday. “It’s highly plausible that there will be at least a case in the United States, and that’s the reason that we’re moving forward so quickly with this screening.”

It’s possible that more than 1,700 people in Wuhan have been infected with the virus, Neil Ferguson and colleagues at Imperial College London said in a study Friday. Their analysis was based on cases reported outside China last week, with the assumption that it takes five or six days for someone to feel unwell after being infected, and another four or five days for the infection to be detected.

The widening of cases sparked a rally in Chinese drugmakers’ shares on Monday. Antibiotic makers Jiangsu Lianhuan Pharmaceutical Co, Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical Co and Shenzhen Neptunus Bioengineering Co all rose by the 10% daily limit in early trading.

Shares of companies in the travel and hotel sectors dropped on fears of a hit to tourism over the Lunar New Year, traditionally a peak period of spending for China’s billion-strong consumer force. Chinese airlines and Macau casino operators were among the biggest losers on Monday, with Air China Ltd sinking as much as 7.8% in Hong Kong.

The novel coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, has triggered alarm because of similarities with the one that sparked Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, 17 years ago. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people, and others that circulate among animal, including camels, cats, and bats, the CDC said. While rare, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people, and then spread between people.


The source and transmission routes of the 2019-nCov virus are still unknown, China’s National Health Commission said in a statement on Sunday.

Some of the first group of patients in Wuhan worked or shopped at a seafood market where live animals and wildlife parts were also reportedly sold.

Provincial health authorities in Guangdong confirmed a case Sunday in a 66-year-old Shenzhen resident who developed fever and fatigue on Jan 3. during a five-day trip to Wuhan.

Two cases have been confirmed in Beijing, according to a statement by a local health authority on Monday. The patients, who have a history of travel to Wuhan, have been hospitalized and are in stable condition.

Officials in Thailand reported two cases last week, while Japan confirmed a case on Thursday. All of them either lived in Wuhan or had spent time there, though none was linked to the seafood market.

Critically Ill
Health authorities said that as of 10pm Sunday, 25 of the city’s 198 cases had been cured. A further three had been discharged from the hospital. Currently, 170 cases are being treated in isolation wards at various hospitals, of which 126 cases are mild, 35 are severe, and nine cases are critically ill.

Of the 136 patients reported over the weekend, 66 were male and 70 were female; the youngest was 25 years old and the oldest was 89. The most recent illness occurred before Saturday, and initial symptoms were mostly fever, cough or chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.

Chinese authorities said the outbreak is “still preventable and controllable,” in an attempt to reassure the public as hundreds of millions of people prepare to travel ahead of the country’s biggest annual festivities.



https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/21/a...m_source=twCNN
Quote:
4 people dead and almost 300 infected as China confirms Wuhan coronavirus can be spread by humans

Spoiler:
Hong Kong (CNN)Officials in China are racing to contain the spread of a new coronavirus that has left at least four people dead and sickened almost 300, after it was confirmed the infection can spread between humans.

Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus was first detected, announced a series of new measures Tuesday, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.
Tour agencies have been banned from taking groups out of Wuhan and the number of thermal monitors and screening areas in public spaces will be increased. Traffic police will also conduct spot checks on private vehicles coming in and out of the city to look for live poultry or wild animals, after the virus was linked to a seafood and live animal market, according to a report by state media outlet the People's Daily, citing Wuhan's Municipal Health Commission.
The new measures come after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered "resolute efforts to curb the spread" of the virus Monday.
There are now fears, however, that efforts to contain it are coming too late, hampered by a slow-moving Chinese bureaucracy which failed to put sufficient measures in place in time.
Though infections were first detected in Wuhan in mid December, infrared temperature screening areas were not installed in the city's airports and stations until January 14, according to state media.
On Tuesday, China's National Health Commission announced that it had received 291 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, with 77 new cases reported on January 20.
According to the National Health Commission, patients have been identified as having the virus in Hubei province -- where Wuhan is located (270 cases); Beijing (five cases); Guangdong province (14 cases); and Shanghai (two cases). Suspected cases have also been reported in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi and Shandong provinces.
In the coming days, hundreds of millions of Chinese are expected to begin traveling across the country and overseas as the annual Lunar New Year break gets fully underway, compounding concerns of a further spike in cases.
Beyond China, the outbreak has so far spread as far as Thailand, Japan and South Korea. The patient in South Korea told officials there she had developed a fever and muscle pains on Saturday and was prescribed cold medicine by a doctor in Wuhan, before being sent on her way.
Despite initial reports that the virus was unlikely to spread between humans, Chinese health authorities have now said there is "definitely human-to-human transmission." One patient is believed to have infected as many as 14 medical staff in one hospital, suggesting the disease can be spread far more easily than previously thought.
The specter of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 in a pandemic that ripped through Asia in 2002 and 2003, has loomed large over discussion of the current virus.
During the SARS outbreak, Chinese authorities initially downplayed the dangers and censored coverage, preventing people from realizing the severity of the virus and taking action in time to stop its spread.
Zhong Nanshan, an expert with China's National Health Commission who is investigating the Wuhan virus, told state media Monday that while it is not as serious as SARS, the number of people with the disease was "climbing" and suggested that the "death rate at the moment is not so representative."
A study by researchers in the UK estimated that the number of infections in Wuhan is still grossly underestimated, with the real number closer to 1,700, based on the spread of the virus to other cities and countries in a relatively short period of time.
Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, January 20, 2020.
Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, January 20, 2020.
Worldwide effort
Even before cases were detected in South Korea, Japan and Thailand, the efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus were international. Wuhan alone has connections to dozens of overseas destinations, and Beijing and Shanghai have hundreds more.
Airports across Asia have stepped up temperature screening of incoming passengers, as have several hubs in the US with connections to Wuhan, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
With all indications that the virus has a relatively slow incubation time, however, these efforts may be insufficient to stop its spread.
"You cannot absolutely prevent entry into the country of a disease like this. The incubation period is probably a week," Australia's chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said Tuesday. "It's about identifying those with a high risk and making sure people with a high risk know about it and know how to get medical attention."
He said that while there was no cause for immediate alarm, the true number of cases was likely far higher than currently reported and urged people to be vigilant about potential symptoms.
Australian authorities on Tuesday quarantined a man in Brisbane who had returned from Wuhan with possible symptoms of the coronavirus. He will remain in isolation until his symptoms have resolved, Queensland Health authorities said.
In the US, the National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine for the new virus, though it will take at least a few months until the first phase of clinical trials get underway and more than a year until a vaccine might be available.
Scientists in Texas, New York and China are also at work on a vaccine, according to Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
"The lesson we've learned is coronavirus infections are serious and one of the newest and biggest global health threats," Hotez told CNN.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it would convene an emergency meeting on Wednesday to determine whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of "international concern" and what recommendations should be made to help manage its spread.

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CORONAVIRUS

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/20...3#.XignA2RKiUk
Quote:
Countries around world gear up response to new coronavirus

Spoiler:
BEIJING – Countries in Asia and elsewhere have begun body temperature checks at airports, railway stations and along highways in hopes of catching people carrying a new coronavirus that is believed to have spread from Wuhan in central China and sickened more than 290 people in that country. The recent confirmation that the disease can spread between humans has heightened fears as millions of Chinese travel during the annual Lunar New Year holiday.

The measures are part of a widening effort aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, another coronoavirus that started in China and killed nearly 800 people, paralyzed transport and damaged Asian economies.

___

JAPAN

One case has been detected in Japan, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged officials to step up quarantine checks at airports and other entry points, with many visitors from China expected to arrive during the Lunar New Year holiday. The number of Chinese tourists has risen steadily in recent years, with more than 9 million visiting last year. Japan will require visitors arriving from Wuhan to fill in health forms, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. Japan confirmed its first patient last week, a man in his 30s who tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from Wuhan. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said it has tracked down 41 people who had contacts with the patient and is monitoring them. It says none has developed pneumonia symptoms.

RELATED STORIES
China warns virus may spread as death toll hits nine
___

AUSTRALIA

Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, said flights from Wuhan are being met by biosecurity staff and by state health officials in New South Wales who are distributing pamphlets in English and Chinese to all passengers describing the symptoms of the disease and asking them to identify themselves if they have any. Australian health officials said a man was placed in isolation in Brisbane after developing a respiratory illness after traveling to Wuhan but has now recovered.

___

UNITED STATES

The U.S. has begun screening passengers on flights from Wuhan arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International airport — the three major ports of entry to the U.S. Initial screenings are expected to involve around 5,000 passengers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It says it has developed a test to diagnose the new coronavirus which it plans to share with domestic and international partners. “Based on current information, however, the immediate health risk … to the general American public is deemed to be low at this time. Nevertheless, CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions,” it said.

___

HONG KONG

The semi-autonomous Chinese city is one of the most popular destinations for mainland Chinese. Along with stepped-up surveillance, additional cleaning and disinfection measures have been ordered for planes and trains from Wuhan as well as for train stations and the airport. A lack of information and low levels of vigilance were blamed for Hong Kong becoming the second-hardest hit area by SARS after mainland China. Officials are determined not to see a replay. Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung on Tuesday said authorities are ready for a worst-case scenario and are on extremely high alert. As in much of mainland China, Hong Kong residents favor traditional markets where live poultry and other animals are sold. The government health department has advised against visiting such markets or touching animals or their droppings. The outbreak is believed to have started at a market in Wuhan.

___

SOUTH KOREA

South Korea, which reported its first case of the virus on Monday, has enacted strict airport monitoring measures. At Incheon airport near Seoul, the only airport in South Korea with direct flights from Wuhan, authorities have been operating two special gates for passengers from the city since Jan. 3. Officials use ear thermometers to check passengers’ temperatures. Since Jan. 2, airport staff have also been spraying disinfectant at arrival halls twice a week, up from once a week previously. Handrails of moving walkways and escalators, elevator buttons and doors, drinking fountains and other sensitive areas are also wiped with disinfectant twice a day, the airport said. In 2015, South Korea suffered an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which killed 36 people and sickened nearly 200.

___

NIGERIA

Nigeria’s government says health authorities at points of entry are on alert for cases of coronavirus arriving in Africa’s most populous country. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control asked that travelers from Wuhan report to a medical facility and the center if they feel ill. China is Africa’s top trading partner. South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said anyone with a severe respiratory illness should be tested if they have traveled to Wuhan within two weeks or had close physical contact with a coronavirus patient or treatment at a facility where a confirmed case has been reported. There were more than 200,000 Chinese workers in Africa as of the end of 2017, not including numerous informal migrants such as traders and shopkeepers, according to the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University.

___

SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA

Singapore will expand temperature screening at Changi Airport, one of Asia’s busiest travel hubs, for all travelers on flights arriving from China beginning on Wednesday. The health ministry said individuals with pneumonia and a history of travel to Wuhan within 14 days of the onset of symptoms will be isolated in a hospital as a precautionary measure and investigated. Neighboring Malaysia has also beefed up screening at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Deputy health Minister Lee Boon Chye, inspecting health screening at the airport Tuesday, said staff are being trained to handle possible cases. “If a case emerges, then we may have to take more drastic measures, but for now, we hope we can nip it at the entry point,” Lee told reporters.

___

MAINLAND CHINA

China’s often secretive Communist government was blamed for making SARS far worse by initially hiding information and blocking the work of the World Health Organization. This time, leader Xi Jinping has led calls for tough measures, ordering that “party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people’s lives and health first.” At the airport in Wuhan, the temperatures of departing passengers were being checked and outbound tour groups were banned from leaving the city. Virtually anyone in a public role, from traffic policemen to bank tellers, along with many riding public transport have donned protective masks.




https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/20...3#.XignBGRKiUk
Quote:
Japan's Abe calls for vigilance against new coronavirus ahead of Chinese tourism influx

Spoiler:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that Japan needs to be on high alert and take necessary measures against a new coronavirus amid a spike in patients in China ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

In a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, Abe instructed Cabinet ministers to strengthen quarantine efforts, monitor patients suspected of contracting the virus and gather the latest information in coordination with international organizations.

“The number of patients has been rising in China. We need to be more vigilant,” Abe said during the meeting.

State media reported Tuesday that six people have died in China, and as of the end of Monday around 291 people were confirmed to have been infected with the new coronavirus in cities and provinces in China, including Beijing and Shanghai.

Cities throughout Asia were also stepping up their defenses Tuesday against the virus, introducing mandatory screenings at airports of arrivals from high-risk areas of China. From Bangkok to Hong Kong and Seoul to Sydney, authorities have gone on high-alert following China’s confirmation of the first case of human-to-human transmission of the deadly illness.

RELATED STORIES
Pandemic fears grow as China virus toll rises to nine
Deadly coronavirus finds a breeding ground in China's food markets
As foreign tourists to Japan increase, so do their consumer gripes
Taiwan, excluded from WHO, calls on China to share 'correct' virus information
The head of a Chinese government expert team said Monday that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in the new virus, a development that raises the possibility that it could spread more quickly and widely.

Team leader Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert, said two people in Guangdong province in southern China caught the virus from family members, state media reported. Some medical workers have also tested positive for the virus, the English-language China Daily newspaper reported.

In his first public statement on the crisis, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the government to take every possible step to combat the outbreak.

“The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan and other places must be taken seriously,” Xi said. “Party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people’s lives and health first.”

In Geneva, the World Health Organization announced it would convene an Emergency Committee meeting Wednesday to determine whether the outbreak warrants being declared a global health crisis.

Such declarations are typically made for epidemics of severe diseases that threaten to cross borders and require an internationally coordinated response.

The spread of the viral pneumonia comes as the country enters its busiest travel period, when millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. The outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan.

Japan confirmed its first case of infection last week after a Chinese man in his 30s tested positive for pneumonia caused by the virus. He returned to Japan in early January after traveling to Wuhan.

Japanese authorities are stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, as many Chinese tourists are expected to arrive in Japan during the Jan. 24 to 30 holiday period.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government will do “all it can”to prevent an outbreak in the country.

“We will ask passengers flying from Wuhan to answer questionnaires about their health condition,” Suga said at a news conference Tuesday.

“We also have a system at hospitals across the nation to monitor pneumonia patients if they have traveled to Wuhan and the cause (of infection) is not clear,” the top government spokesman said.

The health ministry said Monday that it has identified 41 people who may have had long-term contact with patients of pneumonia caused by the new virus and that it will monitor their health condition for about two weeks. While three of them have already left Japan, the ministry has been able to get in touch with all 41 people, and no new case of infection has been confirmed in the country, it said.

Among the 41 people, 38 may have spent a large amount of time with the Chinese man at the workplace or at home. The other three people traveled with a woman from Wuhan whose infection was confirmed while she was in South Korea.

The ministry has been advising people entering Japan from Wuhan to wear a mask if they have symptoms such as fever and go to see a doctor after calling in advance.

It also asked airlines to make in-flight announcements calling on passengers from the city to report their conditions voluntarily if they have any of such symptoms.

Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases is working to build a system to detect people with the new coronavirus so that it can quickly respond to any new cases of infection.

Meanwhile, Japanese companies are also taking measures.

SoftBank Corp. has instructed local employees in China to work only at home, while Nippon Steel Corp. and Sony Corp. told their employees in Japan not to make business trips to China that are not urgent.

Automobiles are the mainstay industry in Wuhan, with Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. operating there. Nissan has banned its employees from going near the Wuhan seafood market apparently linked to the outbreak while calling on them to avoid touching animals.

Major retailer Aeon Co. runs three shopping malls in Wuhan. “We are taking stronger measures, such as sterilizing our commercial facilities more frequently and expanding the scope of areas subject to sterilization,” an Aeon public relations official said.

An official at Mizuho Bank, which has an Wuhan branch, said it will not ban business trips at the moment, but the bank is calling on its employees to gargle, wash their hands and wear a mask.

The Japan Tourism Agency has cautioned visitors via travel companies. The Foreign Ministry has emailed Japanese nationals in China to get updates on the outbreak


https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/healt...-bn/index.html
Quote:
First US case of Wuhan coronavirus confirmed by CDC

Spoiler:
(CNN)The United States has its first confirmed case of a new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, last month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday. The coronavirus has already sickened hundreds and killed six people in Asia.

CDC officials said the United States will be more strict about health screenings of airplane passengers arriving from Wuhan.
The patient, who is not being named, is in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington. He is in his 30s and lives in Snohomish County, Washington, just north of Seattle. He had recently returned from Wuhan.
Coronavirus explained: What you need to know
Coronavirus explained: What you need to know
He arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 15, before any health screenings for the Wuhan coronavirus began at US airports. He sought medical care on January 19. The CDC and Washington state are now tracing the people he was in contact with to see if he might have spread the disease to someone else.
"We believe the risk to the public is low," said John Wiesman, secretary of health for the state of Washington.
The patient became ill four days after arriving in the United States and sought care. Based on the patient's symptoms and travel history, doctors suspected the novel Wuhan coronavirus and sent specimens to the CDC in Atlanta, where tests Monday confirmed the virus.
The patient is faring well but is still being kept in isolation out of an abundance of caution, health officials said.
Health screenings at more US airports
Soon, passengers from Wuhan to the United States, whether on direct or indirect flights, will only be allowed to land at one of the five US airports doing health screenings. Screenings include a temperature check and observation for symptoms such as a cough and trouble breathing.
China is trying to stop the spread of a deadly new virus at the worst possible time of year
China is trying to stop the spread of a deadly new virus at the worst possible time of year
Last weekend, the CDC started health screenings for Wuhan passengers arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
Starting this week, Wuhan passengers will also be screened at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
The CDC raised its travel notice for Wuhan, China, from level 1 to level 2 of three possible levels, according to its website. As of Tuesday afternoon, the agency advised travelers to "practice enhanced precautions." The highest level, "Warning - Level 3," advises travelers to "avoid nonessential travel."
Person-to-person transmission of Wuhan virus
The Wuhan coronavirus is in the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed more than 700 people in 2002 and 2003, and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS.
To date, the Wuhan coronavirus has infected more than 300 people and killed six in an outbreak that has struck China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now the US.
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Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team.

It's not known how many of the cases became infected from animals and how many from another person.
On Tuesday, the CDC activated its emergency response system in response to the Wuhan coronavirus. The CDC activates this system on a temporary basis to centralize how the agency monitors, prepares for and responds to public health threats.
The outbreak started in late December at an animal market in Wuhan, about 700 miles south of Beijing. The virus can jump from animals to people.
While there's much to learn about how easily the virus can be transmitted human-to-human, health officials said it appears that it's not spread as easily as some other viruses.
"This isn't anywhere near in the same category as measles or the flu," Dr. Martin Cetron, director of CDC's division of global migration and quarantine, told CNN.


https://www.npr.org/2020/01/22/79838...ed-coronavirus
Quote:
Health Officials In China Say 9 Dead From Newly Identified Coronavirus

Spoiler:
A newly identified strain of coronavirus has killed nine people in China, with 440 other confirmed infections, health officials in Beijing said Wednesday, as they expressed concern over its spread during the Lunar New Year celebrations.

China's Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control said that while the virus does not appear to be as virulent as the one that caused a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome pandemic 17 years ago, it is nonetheless "highly infectious."

"The virus is mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract," Li Bin, deputy director of China's National Health Commission, which overseas the bureau, said at a Wednesday morning news conference in Beijing. "It may mutate and there is risk of further spread."


Li Bin, deputy director of China's National Health Commission, speaks during a news conference about the new type of coronavirus spreading in China at the State Council Information Office in Beijing, on Wednesday.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Lunar New Year is China's – and the world's – busiest travel season. Officially, the New Year is this Saturday, but celebrations continue well into February.

"During Chinese New Year, the surge [in people moving around the country] increases the risk of the epidemic's spread and the difficulty of prevention and control. We must not take it lightly," Li said, according to a translation in the South China Morning Post.

The virus, known as 2019-nCoV, was discovered last month in the central city of Wuhan. Since then, it has spread to other parts of China, and isolated cases have been found in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the U.S. and Hong Kong.

1st Case Of New Coronavirus Detected In U.S.
GOATS AND SODA
1st Case Of New Coronavirus Detected In U.S.
Symptoms of infection include fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, diarrhea and body aches.

Hong Kong confirmed its first case on Wednesday, local broadcasters reported. Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways also announced that it would honor a request from the flight attendants union to allow cabin crew to wear surgical masks on all flights.


Earlier, Cathay had agreed to allow the masks only on flights to mainland China, but said Wednesday in a statement: "Due to the evolving information from health authorities, we will allow crew members and front-line airport employees to wear surgical face masks when on duty at their discretion."

The airline also said it would allow passengers who are booked to and from Wuhan to cancel or reschedule flights for free through Feb. 15.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a man from Washington state who returned after a trip to Wuhan, China, on Jan. 15, had sought medical attention days later and is now in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash. State health officials have described his condition as "healthy."

In an interview Wednesday on CNBC, President Trump said he had been briefed about the U.S. case. "It's one person from China and we have it totally under control," he said.

The CDC announced last week that it had begun screening passengers arriving from Wuhan at three airports, Los Angeles International, San Francisco International and New York's JFK. On Tuesday, the CDC said it was adding Atlanta's Hartfield-Jackson International and Chicago's O'Hare International to the list and that all arrivals from Wuhan would be routed through those five airports.

CDC To Screen For New Strain Of Coronavirus At 3 U.S. Airports
GOATS AND SODA
CDC To Screen For New Strain Of Coronavirus At 3 U.S. Airports
At London's Heathrow airport, a separate area will be set up to screen passengers from areas affected by the virus, Britain's Transport Minister Grant Shapps said Wednesday.

The Health Commission's Li said the sudden uptick in confirmed cases in China was due to more effective diagnosis. He said 2,197 people who were in close contact with infected patients were being tracked and that 1,394 of them are under close medical observation.

Meanwhile, the head of China's Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control said Wednesday that the new virus had originated in wild animals sold at a seafood market in Wuhan.

The bureau's director general, Gao Fu, referred to a paper published on Tuesday by a joint team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the People's Liberation Army and the Institut Pasteur in Shanghai that concluded "the Wuhan coronavirus' natural host could be bats ... but between bats and humans there could be an unknown intermediate."

The new virus and the SARS virus are both mutations of HKU9-1, a virus found in fruit bats, the researchers said, according to the South China Morning Post.

Previously, most scientists had believed that the Wuhan virus could not cause a SARS-like epidemic because the two viruses were genetically dissimilar.

The new study, however, concludes that the new virus, "although comparatively weaker" than SARS, binds to the same human enzyme that has been identified as the receptor for the SARS virus.

An animal-to-human transmission of the SARS virus – which originated in China and was spread across the globe by infected air passengers beginning in late 2002 and continuing into 2003 – has long been suspected, with bats a prime suspect, according to the World Health Organization.

During the 2002-2003 pandemic, SARS infected more than 8,000 people, with several cases in other Asian countries, Europe and North America, including nine in the U.S. The disease caused 774 deaths, mostly in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to the CDC.


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Old 01-22-2020, 03:58 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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CORONAVIRUS
CHINA
QUARANTINE

https://twitter.com/ezracheungtoto/s...virus-fears%2F
Quote:
Ezra Cheung
@ezracheungtoto
#BREAKING: In order to fight #WuFlu, Wuhan’s bus, metro, ferry and other long-distance transport services will be temporarily suspended starting on January 23 at 10 am, says state media
@CCTV
. Airport and train stations leaving Wuhan will also close. #WuhanPneumonia


Wuhan, with a population of over 11.08 million, is the seventh most populous Chinese city. But it will be closed within six hours. Public transport will be terminated until further notice. How one can bar 11 million people from fleeing a city is a huge question. H/T
@FuClare_Fu

I don't think this is going to work.
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  #639  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:01 AM
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What do you think about this coronavirus Mary? Been tracking it since a few days ago and have so many questions still. This sounds like it could get really gnarly yet.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottKelly View Post
What do you think about this coronavirus Mary? Been tracking it since a few days ago and have so many questions still. This sounds like it could get really gnarly yet.
Howdy Scott -- somebody created a thread in NAT on this, so I've started adding to that thread there:
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=346237

I have been reading conflicting estimates of not only its lethality (which is concerning enough) but also its infectiousness. Unfortunately, it's too soon to determine... and I don't know how effective trying to quarantine 40 million people or so in Hubei province is going to be.

I'll add one of the scientific papers here:
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...g7qVAfsenyhll4
Quote:
Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China


Summary
Background
A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients.
Methods
All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not.
Findings
By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα.
Interpretation
The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies.
Funding
Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
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