China confirmed that the deadly Wuhan virus sweeping the country can spread from human to human, increasing the risk of an epidemic
China's mysterious and deadly coronavirus can be spread from person to person, Chinese medical authorities confirmed on Monday. Officials are scrambling to contain 2019-nCoV, a SARs-like infection that originated in a seafood and meat market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus, which has pneumonia-like symptoms including fever and difficulty breathing, has already spread from Wuhan to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, as well as South Korea, Thailand, and Japan. The spread could accelerate as hundreds of millions of people prepare to travel home for the Lunar New Year holiday this week and cram into crowded train stations and airports. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
China's mysterious deadly coronavirus can spread from person to person, China's top medical authority announced on Monday. Chinese and international authorities are scrambling to slow the spread of 2019-nCoV, a SARs-like illness known as the Wuhan virus because the infection originated in a seafood and meat market in the central Chinese metropolis. Authorities initially believed the illness was largely being transmitted from animals to humans. Confirmation that it can move directly between people makes the threat even more severe, and increases the risk to other countries. "Now we can say it is certain that it is a human-to-human transmission phenomenon," said Zhong Nanshan, the scientist the Chinese government has appointed to lead the effort to battle the disease. Three people in Wuhan had died from the illness as of Monday, local health authorities said. The total number of infections in the country tripled over the weekend to at least 218. Some scientific estimates suggests that the ture scale of the disease may be an order of magnitude higher than the official confirmed cases. The virus, which has pneumonia-like symptoms including fever and difficulty breathing, has already spread to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, as well as South Korea, Thailand, and Japan. The World Health Organization said it will convene an emergency meeting on Wednesday to determine what kind of international response the outbreak requires. Neil Ferguson, a public health expert at Imperial College London, told The New York Times that the danger posed by the virus depends on how "efficiently" it spreads from person to person. If the transmission process is very effective, it will be able to spread a long way very quickly. If it is relatively hard for the virus to spread, it will be easier to contain. It's unclear how many people have been infected through human transmission. There are fears that the pace of infection will intensify as hundreds of millions of people travel within China and internationally for Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, this week. More people travel home annually for the New Year holidays than during any other time of year. Health authorities across Asia are ramping up measures to spot and contain people carrying the disease, with medics in hazmat suits taking passengers' temperatures before planes can fly out from Wuhan and various airports increasing health screenings of people traveling from China. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is screening incoming passengers from China at airports in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, as are health authorities in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo. Alex Ma contributed reporting.
Read more: A video of medics in hazmat suits scanning plane passengers for China's mysterious Wuhan virus is stoking fears of a global epidemic People in China will make 3 billion trips in the next 40 days to celebrate Lunar New Year, the world's largest annual human migration A mysterious and deadly virus from China could have infected 35 times more people than official totals, scientists warn A mysterious virus in China is a reminder that the world isn't ready for a pandemic. Bill Gates says we should prepare for a deadly outbreak as we do for war. SEE ALSO: The spread of China's mysterious fatal Wuhan virus is poised to get infinitely worse as the Chinese New Year travel rush begins Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment
More like this (3)
China extended the Lunar New Year holiday to help contain an outbreak of the mysterious virus...China extended the Lunar New Year holiday to help contain an outbreak of the mysterious virus with cases confirmed around the world. Of the nearly 3,000 people who have so far contracted the disease, the vast majority live in China.
The American Airlines flight attendant union is calling on US airlines to step up precautions for the deadly Wuhan coronavirus
The head of the American Airlines flight attendant union called on US airlines to increase precautions...The head of the American Airlines flight attendant union called on US airlines to increase precautions over the deadly coronavrius outbreak in Wuhan, China. More than 630 people have been infected by the mysterious virus, and 18 have died. Airlines have said they are coordinating with US health officials. American said it is taking steps to communicate the risks, and hand out sanitizing wipes on flights to China. Delta said it would offer "flexibility" to customers booked to travel to Wuhan. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The head of American Airlines' flight attendants union released on Thursday urged US airlines to buckle down and take "immediate emergency measures" to protect flight crews from the deadly coronavirus outbreak. "The health of our crew members and passengers is a top priority for us and we refuse to compromise their health or safety in any way," Lori Bassani, the president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), said in a statement. "I am urging American Airlines and all airlines to do everything humanly possible to contain the outbreak and minimize any chance of exposure." According to the APFA, measures could include "including providing crew members the latest information regarding the 2019-nCoV outbreak, identifying the signs and symptoms of illness in oneself and others, and practical procedures to manage potentially ill persons." The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 18 people and infected more than 630. The virus is suspected to have initially jumped from animals to humans at a seafood market. Scientists have since confirmed it can spread from human to human. Most cases are in China, around Wuhan specifically, but cases have been confirmed in at least eight other countries: Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the US. Four people in Scotland are being tested for the virus. US health officials began screening incoming passengers from Wuhan at airports last week. However, the screening did not prevent infected passengers from getting onto planes in the first place, potentially spreading the virus. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways said on Thursday that it would allow cabin crew to wear medical masks while working on flights to or from mainland China, according to Channel News Asia. Airports in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea are also screening passengers. The entire city of Wuhan has been quarantined by the Chinese government as officials race to contain the spread of the virus. Five other cities have also been placed under quarantine orders — about 23 million people are impacted. The virus is marked by fevers and pneumonia-like symptoms. Public health officials are particularly concerned due to the timing of the outbreak coinciding with the busy Lunar New Year travel period. Read more about the Wuhan virus: What you need to know about China's Wuhan coronavirus and how it could affect you Everything we know about the mysterious, deadly Wuhan virus sweeping across China A mysterious virus in China is a reminder that the world isn't ready for a pandemic. Bill Gates says we should prepare for a deadly outbreak as we do for war. The spread of China's mysterious fatal Wuhan virus is poised to get infinitely worse as the Chinese New Year travel rush begins A video of medics in hazmat suits scanning plane passengers for China's mysterious Wuhan virus is stoking fears of a pandemic SEE ALSO: Everything we know about the mysterious, deadly Wuhan virus sweeping across China Join the conversation about this story »
More countries are carrying out health checks after the virus was detected outside ChinaCountries in Asia...More countries are carrying out health checks after the virus was detected outside ChinaCountries in Asia and elsewhere are checking the body temperatures of arriving airline passengers and adopting precautionary quarantine procedures in response to a new coronavirus that has sickened nearly 300 people in China. Continue reading...