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China battles mysterious coronavirus

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/20/20, 12:29 pm

More cases of a new respiratory virus emerged ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations this weekend, Chinese authorities said Monday, who confirmed the disease can spread between humans. The strain of viral pneumonia has killed three people and infected more than 200 others since it surfaced last month in Wuhan in central China. Health authorities traced the virus to a seafood market, but the national health commission has failed to identify the source.

What is the global response? Several nations are on alert as millions of Chinese around the world plan to travel home for the holiday on Saturday. On Monday, South Korea said it isolated one woman from Wuhan who tested positive for the virus, and Japan and Thailand have also reported cases. At least six Asian countries and some U.S. airports have started medical screenings for passengers arriving from central China. Coronaviruses can trigger diseases ranging from the common cold to SARS. In 2002, an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in China spread to more than 24 countries and killed nearly 800 people.

Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings on the search for the source of the viral disease.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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