Should I Worry About the Deadly Wuhan Coronavirus?

22 Janvier, 2020, 07:04 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
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"How easily or sustainably this virus is spreading remains unknown".

Officials in the United States were anxious that the disease would spread to the country through airline passengers from China as early as last week. By Monday, a new testing tool at the CDC confirmed he had the Wuhan coronavirus. Coronavirus has spread to other areas in China, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and the Guangdong province.

However, health officials said that they "believe the risk to the public is low".

The worries have been heightened by the coming of the Lunar New Year holiday rush, when millions of Chinese travel at home and overseas.

A CDC medical officer said all travellers from Wuhan would be redirected to five USA airports in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco for screening.

Cathay told the South China Morning Post, which first reported on the issue, that as required by Hong Kong health authorities, it was distributing health declaration forms and making face masks and antiseptic wipes available at the boarding gate to passengers travelling from Wuhan to Hong Kong.

In one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak, National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said there was evidence that the disease was "mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract".

Dr. Tedros wrote on Twitter that the emergency meeting will ascertain whether the coronavirus constitutes a public health emergency of global concern and what recommendations should be made to manage the outbreak.

On Tuesday, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it had started working on the development of a vaccine that could cure the new coronavirus strain.

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China is the largest source of tourists to Australia, with more than 1 million people arriving a year ago. The virus has infected more than 300 people since it began circulating past year, but this would be the first time it has spread beyond Asia.

The World Health Organisation began responding late past year to cases of the virus, which is believed to have been transmitted from animals to humans but is now capable of human to human transfer.

"Now we can say it is certain that it is a human-to-human transmission phenomenon", Dr. Zhong Nanshan, a scientist who is leading a government-appointed expert panel on the outbreak, said in an interview on state-run television, according to The New York Times.

The most unsafe human coronaviruses are MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

Those who pose a potential risk will be placed in isolation at designated facilities for more testing and to prevent potential spread of the coronavirus.

The pneumonia resulting from the infection of the novel coronavirus has been classified as a category B infectious disease and a quarantinable disease at the border, according to an earlier announcement by the NHC. The ministry says none of them have developed a fever, tight chest or other initial symptoms of the new virus. Those with more risky types of coronavirus could experience shortness of breath, chills and body aches, the CDC said. They are known to have circulated in camels, cats and bats.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) detected and contained in 2003, sickened 8,098 people and killed 774.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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