New Chinese Virus Not Yet A Global Health Emergency


Hours after announcing the Wuhan lockdown, authorities in neighbouring Huanggang city announced public transport and train services would be suspended at midnight, while people were told to not leave the city of 7.5 million. There are now no reported cases in the United Kingdom, but yesterday Heathrow took precautions to segregate Chinese arrivals from the rest of the airport passenger flow.

And one more Twitter user shared a video which is said to have been filmed in Shanghai, where a person with fever from Wuhan was transported out of the airport terminal in a quarantine box.

The previously unknown strain is believed to have emerged late past year from illegally traded wildlife at an animal market in Wuhan.

"The virus is now spreading at an alarming rate". There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the new virus.

The patient is a 66-year-old man and Wuhan resident, who arrived in Singapore with nine travelling companions on Monday, and stayed at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa resort, the Ministry of Health said.

The Chinese authorities initially described the virus as a new type of pneumonia before realising what was happening, and it is spread in exactly the same way as flu and colds are - by droplet transmission, where infected micro-droplets of fluid are breathed in by people near an infected individual who coughs or sneezes beside them.

"People had bought tickets to go home for Lunar New Year but they can't go now".

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Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers.

Scientists have identified the illness as a new kind of coronavirus.

Most of the fatalities have been in elderly patients, many with pre-existing medical conditions, the World Health Organization said.

Officially called the 2019-nCoV, the virus was discovered last December at Wuhan's Hunan Seafood Market.

The four cities include Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, and the nearby cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, and Chiba. It did not give further details.

Chinese travelers are taking precautions such as wearing face masks to pretect themselves from a new coronavirus during travel for Lunar New Year.

"What choice do I have?" Dr. Adhanom said while it's known the virus can be quite serious - and even result in death - the majority of people who it has been transmitted to have exhibited milder symptoms.

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As part of the restrictions, some sections of the Great Wall near Beijing will be closed from Saturday, state media said.

Travel by train and air from Wuhan are now banned, though it's still unclear exactly how many people are being allowed to enter and leave the city by vehicle. He commended the city's health workers and said he found them optimistic but cautious.

Experts have questioned whether such a move will actually help with the public health response. "A lockdown of Wuhan will drive the epidemic underground, provoking fear and panic".

Others have evolved into more severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS, although so far the new virus does not appear to be almost as deadly or contagious.

Three worldwide research teams - using different approaches - have begun work on vaccines, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations said.

Cutting off travel and trade with a country dealing with an outbreak is viewed as unlikely to stop disease spread and is likely to discourage countries from being transparent about outbreaks.

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