One Confirmed Dead in China's Pneumonia Outbreak

Skyline of Wuhan China

Some species cause less serious diseases, while others can be much more serious.

"Laboratory testing subsequently confirmed that the novel coronavirus was the cause", World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP in an email, referring to the new virus.

The food market has been linked to the majority of cases in Wuhan city and is under investigation.

The agency said on Monday it had been informed by Thai health officials that the patient there was recovering from the illness.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus infection include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever or a feeling of general illness.

It all started on December 12 in Wuhan, a small city 700 miles from Beijing, where mysterious pneumonia started to pop up.

Media reports indicate several countries and territories in the area, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Amur Region of Russian Federation, are screening incoming travelers from Wuhan, China.

Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said it appears to be the first confirmed case of the virus found outside China, the Bangkok Post newspaper and other Thai media reported.

There are several known human coronaviruses that usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold, says the CDC.

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The South Korean health authorities have confirmed that a recent case of a "pneumonia-like" illness in the country is not related to a deadly outbreak in China. Coronavirus is present in bats from where it is spread to numerous mammals and to humans.

Numerous patients had worked at a seafood market where wild animals such as pheasants and snakes, as well as rabbit organs, had also been sold.

Most of the guards stationed around the seafood market were not wearing protective gear, although one group of security staff who had entered the market area wore masks and hats and were instructed at a morning briefing to stay covered at all times. But outside experts have noted that it can be hard to exclude that at this early point in the outbreak.

There is so far no indication of human-to-human transmission of the virus.

One person has died from pneumonia in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China, the city health authorities said on Saturday. Simultaneously, scientists released the genomic sequence of the unknown DNA virus.

Furthermore, since this situation is evolving, the CDC will update this Travel Alert as more information becomes available.

Such tools are urgently needed during outbreaks.

So far, 54 people have been admitted to hospitals in Hong Kong with respiratory problems after returning from Wuhan - 31 of whom have been discharged, as of last Friday.

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. The patient - who was reportedly also dealing with other serious health conditions - died on January 9 due to respiratory and circulatory failure.

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