Chinese coronavirus outbreak leaves 25 dead and 830 infected as of late last week

A new coronavirus has been identified in China, with 25 dead and 830 infected in China and a few other countries as of Thursday night. 18 million people have been quarantined in and around the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was traced to a live-animal market in late December, according to the New York Post. The unprecedented quarantine came after the flu-like disease was discovered to be more contagious than originally thought. “Strictly implement emergency-response requirements, enter into a state of war and implement wartime measures to resolutely curb the spread of this epidemic,” a committee of Wuhan’s top officials urged. “Homes must be segregated, neighbors must be watched.” All methods of transportation in and out of the city including trains, planes, and even the subway and buses were indefinitely suspended. ~

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Almost everyone catches some form of coronavirus at some point in their lives, but the symptoms are usually mild to moderate. Some lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis can result from these viruses. The viruses are common amongst animals, but only a few are known to affect humans. Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans on rare occasions. ~

So far, many of the victims were over age 60 and had pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension or cirrhosis of the liver, China’s National Health Commission revealed on Thursday. One case has been identified in the US – a man in Washington state was confirmed to have the virus after returning to the U.S. from Wuhan on Jan. 15. The UN agency’s director general said: “Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency, it may yet become one.” Some international airports have instituted screenings for travelers from China. ~

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