Wuhan disease similar to SARS, MERS, say experts

Culprit in Mystery Pneumonia in China Found?

A cluster of more than 50 pneumonia cases in China's central Wuhan city may be due to a newly emerging member of the family of viruses that caused the deadly SARS and MERS outbreaks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has not published any updates since January 5, unnerving Hong Kong's health authorities as they grapple with the city's own mystery infections.

"Further investigations are also required to determine the source, modes of transmission, extent of infection and countermeasures implemented", the WHO's China representative Gauden Galea said in a statement. Since then, a complete of 59 folks have been struck by the sickness, with seven sufferers in the essential situation at some stage, Chinese well-being authorities stated on Sunday.

The outbreak, which prompted authorities to quarantine affected individuals, led to online speculation about a resurgence of the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus, which killed 349 people in mainland China and 299 in Hong Kong, following an outbreak in 2003.

The infection broke out between December 12 and 19, with some of the patients employed at a seafood market in the city that has since been closed for disinfection.

She said, however, that it looks like virus confirmation is clear of a coronavirus not found before in humans.

Possible cases of the same illness have been reported in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan involving recent travellers to Wuhan. The flights operate between Yangon International Airport and 18 cities in China.

The statement also underlined that the local government is paying close attention to the latest developments concerning the Wuhan pneumonia cases and has taken a string of measures to minimise the risk of such cases affecting Macau.

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Regarding such a pneumonia outbreak, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and Russian Federation are taking measures for fever screening and health quarantine for passengers coming from Wuhan.

"It's a new type of mutant coronavirus", Ren said. "They haven't made public the genetic sequence, because it is highly contagious". The coronavirus that causes SARS was tracked to the civet cat, a wild animal thought-about a delicacy in components of southern China, the place the epidemic started.

Repeated calls to various numbers listed for the Wuhan Institute of Virology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences rang unanswered.

"Pre-identification of a new virus in a short period of time is a notable achievement", Galea said.

"I don't know how you know that at all", Frieman said of China's claim there is no person-to-person transmission.

According to the KCDC, a 36-year-old Chinese woman who had recently visited Wuhan, Hubei Province, was admitted into the hospital on Tuesday after showing symptoms. The news on the virus outbreak has caused widespread concern on Chinese social media.

An employee who answered the phone at Wuhan's Jinyintan Hospital declined to comment when contacted by RFA on. "But we do have to be cautious about conclusions there", she said.

Singapore sees many people travelling to Wuhan and back.

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