New Coronavirus May be Cause of Outbreak in China

S. Korea asks China for info on virus suspected of causing pneumonia-like illness

China Blames Pneumonia Outbreak on Newly Discovered Virus

The episode has caused alarm due to the spectre of SARS, or Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which in 2002-2003 killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong, whose economy was hit hard by the epidemic's devastating impact on tourism.

Treatment failed to improve his symptoms and he died on January 9 due to heart failure.

There have been no new cases reported since January 3 and no indication of the disease transmitting among humans, authorities said.

Earlier on Sunday, local authorities in Wuhan said the city was dealing with more than 40 cases of people with pneumonia symptoms since 31 December 2019, some of them were in critical condition.

The Wuhan health commission said the man who died had purchased goods from a seafood market in the city identified by authorities as the centre of the outbreak. Some of the virus types cause less serious disease, while some like the one that causes MERS, are far more severe.

Earlier this week, Chinese scientists reported they had recovered the virus an infected person and generated its genetic sequence.

On Saturday evening, there was little sign of alarm in Wuhan outside of the seafood market, which had been cordoned off.

Coronaviruses, which originate in bats but can infect a number of animals, are famed for being able to jump from animals to people.

"There is no clear evidence proving human-to-human transmission". But outside experts have noted that it can be hard to exclude that at this early point in the outbreak.

A Chinese woman who works for a South Korean company was diagnosed Tuesday with pneumonia, according to the Korea Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said. All 739 close contacts, including 419 medical staff, have undergone medical observation and no related cases have been found.

Such tools are urgently needed during outbreaks.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to SARS.

Also on Friday, the World Health Organization issued advice for global travelers to Wuhan - essentially, avoid contact with animals and sick people and wash your hands often - and guidance for labs testing patient samples for the virus.

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