Health

What’s new in the China virus outbreak

Here’s what’s new in the outbreak linked to an emerging virus in China

Hundreds of cases of a new viral respiratory illness have been confirmed in China and elsewhere since an outbreak began last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Scientists have identified the illness as a new kind of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. Others have evolved into more severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS, although so far the new virus does not appear to be nearly as deadly or contagious.

WHAT’S NEW TODAY

— The number of confirmed cases rose to 830. Twenty-six people have died, including the first two deaths outside Hubei.

— After Wuhan halted all outbound flights, trains, buses and ferries on Thursday, nine other cities in the central province of Hubei followed suit, with a combined population of around 33 million now under lockdown.

— Wuhan is swiftly building a 1,000-bed hospital dedicated to the disease. The prefabricated structure, slated for completion Feb. 3, is modeled after the Xiaotangshan SARS hospital in Beijing. The SARS hospital was built from scratch in 2003 and featured individual isolation units that looked like rows of tiny cabins.

—- The new virus claimed its youngest victim. A 36-year-old man in Hubei was admitted to the hospital earlier this month after suffering from fever for three days. He died following a sudden cardiac arrest on Jan. 23.

— South Korea and Japan both detected their second cases, and Singapore two more for a total of three.

— Hospitals in Wuhan are grappling with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies. At least eight hospitals in Wuhan issued public calls for donations of masks, googles, gowns and other protective medical gear, according to notices online.


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