Behind the death of one man and hundreds of others falling ill, health officials have reported a new coronavirus. Initial signs show that there is no transmission of the pneumonia-like virus from human to human.
According to the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee, a minimum of 59 cases have been confirmed thus far, including seven seriously ill patients. Since coming into direct contact with the infected individuals, a further 163 individuals are also under medical observation.
In reaction to eight possible incidents, the Hong Kong authorities triggered a “serious response” stage.
All patients have started showing symptoms of pneumonia or serious respiratory tract infections, with fever and breathing problems endured by many, although the cause of the disease is not yet known.
On Thursday, China’s official Xinhua news agency said that the initial lab findings point towards the identification of a new coronavirus. In total, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said, 41 individuals are experiencing symptoms of the pathogen and 7 are in critical condition.
Sparks of the old pandemic
For those who dealt with the Sars epidemic 18 years ago, this new outbreak seems to have sparked memories.
At the time, in the southern Chinese province, the World Health Organization blamed China for not reporting the right number of cases of Sars.
During the SARS epidemic, travelers going to other countries are thought to have been behind the large number of cases because Sars spreads rapidly without swift medical care.
At the time, China got rid of its health minister for coping poorly with the crisis.
Ever since May 2004, the country has been free of Sars.