The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 25 people and infected more than 830. Here's everything we know about the outbreak.
A coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China has killed 25 people and infected 830. The virus has spread to at least eight other countries. On Wednesday, local authorities quarantined the entire city of Wuhan, with all transportation halted. Similar lockdowns affect other nearby cities, too. The virus can pass from human to human, and experts are rushing to study it and stop it from spreading further. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The death toll of a coronavirus outbreak that started in China is rising. Of 830 people who've been infected, 25 have died, according to new official numbers issued Friday morning local time. The virus originated at a wet market in the city of Wuhan, and has spread to at least eight other countries: Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the US. The scientific name for the virus is 2019-nCoV, and it can pass from human to human. Authorities are rushing to study it in order to prevent the disease from spreading further as millions begin to travel for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration. The disease is part of the larger coronavirus family, which typically infect the nose, throat, or sinuses. This one has pneumonia-like symptoms. Here's everything we know:The first case of the virus was reported in Wuhan in December. The central Chinese city has a population of 11 million.
This virus' pneumonia-like symptoms include fever and difficulty breathing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a person could be at risk if they have:
Fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as coughing or difficulty breathing, after traveling to Wuhan or having close contact with someone who was ill and is now under investigation for the virus in the past two weeks. Fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness after having close contact in the past two weeks with someone who's been confirmed to have the virus.
As of Thursday, the virus has killed 25 people.
"The people who are likely to die first will have other illnesses," Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer at Healix International, which offers risk-management solutions for global travelers, told Business Insider. "But as it spreads, it'll pick up more people like flu does." 830 people have been infected.
Chinese authorities launched an investigation in the first week of January, amid fears that the virus could be like SARS. That coronavirus also originated in China; it killed 774 people from November 2002 to July 2003.
Authorities later determined that this coronavirus is not SARS, though the two belong to the same family. Many corona viruses are not very serious and only threaten people with weakened immune systems. But a few, like SARS, are deadly.
"An initial first impression is that this is significantly milder than SARS," Eric Toner, a senior scientist at Johns Hopkins University, told Business Insider. "On the other hand, it may be more transmissible than SARS, at least in the community setting," Toner added. Scientists are still learning about the virus' incubation period — the time that passes between when a patient gets infected and when they start displaying symptoms. That's a period people can be contagious without realizing they're sick. "The information that has been coming out of China so far is incomplete," Toner said. "There's an awful lot we don't yet know." Health officials believe the coronavirus outbreak originated in a seafood market in Wuhan.
They initially said the virus could only spread from animals to humans. But on January 20, Chinese officials confirmed that the virus can be transferred from person to person as well. "Now we can say it is certain that it is a human-to-human transmission phenomenon," Zhong Nanshan, the scientist the Chinese government appointed to lead the effort to battle the disease, said. Early research indicates that the virus might have jumped from bats to snakes, then to humans.
In a paper in the Journal of Medical Virology, researchers revealed that the protein codes favored by the Wuhan virus closely resemble the protein codes in snakes. Since snakes often hunt bats in the wild — and they were sold at the seafood market in Wuhan — the researchers surmise that the virus may have originated in bats before mutating and infecting humans. On Wednesday, local officials effectively quarantined the entire city of Wuhan by shutting down all transportation.
All of the city's public transportation — including buses, metros, ferries, and train — were shut down as of 10 a.m. local time on Thursday. Trains and airplanes coming in and out of the city were also halted. Wuhan's 11 million residents were told not to leave the city, barring special circumstances. A handful of nearby cities have also been placed on lockdown.
The city Huanggang, home to around 7.5 million people, announced on Thursday that it will place its urban core under lockdown, closing subway and train stations as well as theaters and internet cafes. The city of Ezhou has suspended railway service. Two other cities, Chibi and Zhijiang, have imposed travel restrictions as well. The virus has spread to at least eight other countries and many other parts of China, including Beijing, Guangdong province, Zhejiang province, Tianjin, and Shanghai.
Cases are also suspected in more regions of China. Outside of China, one case has been recorded in the US, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, respectively. Four cases have been reported in Thailand and two have been reported in Vietnam.
Four people in Scotland are being tested for the virus. This map shows where the virus has spread around the world. "I think we're going to see cases popping up in cities all over the world," Hyzler said.
He added that he worries a single person with the virus could infect 10, 20, or 30 people. The true number infected people is probably higher than the total Chinese authorities have identified there.
As of Thursday, academics from Imperial College London estimated that the true number of infected people might be between 4,000 and 9,700. Chinese officials have warned that the virus is mutating, which could make it harder to control and treat.
Gao Fu, the director-general of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Wednesday that the virus was adapting and changing — making it harder to fight. Airports around the world are implementing screening protocols and diverting flights from Wuhan.
Five US airports — New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Chicago O'Hare International Airport — have started screening passengers for the virus. Airports in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea are also screening passengers for fever. Chinese state media reported that transport hubs in Wuhan were supplied with infrared thermometers to try to catch people who might have been infected. But those efforts started January 14, so they likely missed some sick people.
Source: CNN. The outbreak comes as as hundreds of millions prepare to travel for the weeks-long Chinese New Year, which is one of the largest annual human migrations in the world.
The holiday starts this weekend, and experts worry the surge in travel could boost the virus' spread. "This couldn't have happened at a worse time for Wuhan," Hyzler said. Beijing canceled its Spring Festival celebrations on Thursday.
"In order to control the epidemic, protect people's lives and health, reduce the mass gathering, and ensure people to have a harmonious and peaceful Spring Festival, it is decided to cancel all the large-scale events, including temple fairs, in Beijing as of today," the Beijing Culture and Tourism Bureau said in a statement. "Our commission will step up our guard during the Spring Festival," China's National Health Commission said on Sunday.
The commission also vowed to "pay close attention to the development and change of the epidemic, and direct the implementation of prevention and control measures." The commission added that the virus is "still preventable and controllable."
The World Health Organization said on Thursday that it is "too early" to consider the outbreak a public-health emergency, as it has in the past with diseases like swine flu and Ebola.
The organization said it was divided about whether to declare an emergency, but its decision was influenced by the quarantine in Wuhan. "There is no evidence of human to human transmission outside China, but that doesn't mean it won't happen," director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference. "WHO is following this outbreak every minute of every day." Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that keeping people alive is the "top priority" and the virus' spread "should be resolutely contained."
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This map shows where China's mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus has spread as the death toll rises to 41
A coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 41 people and infected more than...A coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 41 people and infected more than 1,100. Cases have been reported in nine other countries. The map below shows where the virus has spread. The virus' further spread is likely as millions of people travel for the Chinese New Year celebrations. Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. A mysterious coronavirus has killed 41 people in China — a count that has risen sharply since the first death was reported on January 11. As of Friday, there are more than 1,100 confirmed cases. Cases have been reported in at least nine other countries, including the US. The virus first emerged at the end of December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, which is home to 11 million people. This map shows where cases have been confirmed so far: The number of infected people has risen consistently over the last several days. Here is the breakdown as of Friday: Hubei Province (home of Wuhan), China: 549 cases Guangdong province, China: 53 cases Zhejiang province, China: 43 cases Beijing, China: 36 cases Shanghai, China: 20 cases Chongqing City, China: 27 cases Sichuan Province, China: 25 cases Tianjin, China: 8 cases Jiangxi, China: 18 cases Shandong Province, China: 15 cases Yunnan Province, China: 2 cases Henan Province, China: 9 cases Hunan Province, China: 24 cases Guangxi Province, China: 23 cases Shanxi Province, China: 1 case Guizhou Province, China: 3 cases Fujian Province, China: 10 cases Hainan Province, China: 8 cases Hebei Province, China: 2 cases Xinjiang Autonomous Region: 2 cases Shaanxi Province: 5 cases Heilongjiang Province: 4 cases Anhui Province: 15 cases Ningxia Province: 2 cases Gansu Province: 2 cases Liaoning Province: 4 cases Jiangsu Province: 9 cases Jilin Province: 3 cases Hong Kong: 2 cases Thailand: 5 cases Taiwan: 3 cases Macau: 2 cases South Korea: 2 cases Japan: 2 cases Vietnam: 2 cases Singapore: 3 cases United States: 2 cases Nepal: 1 case France: 3 cases The figures are being regularly updated as individual regions report separately from the National Health Commission. Some experts believe that the number of those infected could be higher: As of Thursday, academics from Imperial College London estimated that the true number of infected people might be between 4,000 and 9,700. Health authorities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the US, the UK, and other countries are screening passengers at airports. The virus, called 2019-nCoV, is a novel strain of coronavirus — which can infect the nose, throat, and sinuses — that had not been seen in humans before. Fears that the virus could spread further are high, since hundreds of millions of Chinese people plan to travel for the weeks-long Chinese New Year celebration. At least 12 cities, including Wuhan, have been put on lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. Beijing canceled its New Year celebrations on Thursday. Join the conversation about this story »
Photos show how China is grappling with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as 12 cities are quarantined and hospitals run out of space
A rapidly spreading coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has infected at least 900 people and...A rapidly spreading coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has infected at least 900 people and killed 26 worldwide, as of Friday evening. The virus appears to be spreading from person to person, and Chinese authorities are scrambling to treat a flood of new patients. By Friday, Chinese authorities had quarantined people in 12 cities, halting transportation and cutting off nearly 33 million people while officials attempt to quell the outbreak. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. At least 900 people have been infected by the mysterious Wuhan coronavirus worldwide, and 26 people have died. In just a matter of weeks, the virus has spread from an initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, to nine other countries, and has resulted in the quarantine of at least 12 Chinese cities. Chinese authorities are scrambling to contain the virus and treat an influx of new patients, but a reported lack of medical tests and protective gear are making matters difficult. From issuing masks, to putting cities on lockdown and panic-building a new hospital, here's a look at how the virus has spread across China.SEE ALSO: The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 26 people and infected more than 900. Here's everything we know about the outbreak. DON'T MISS: Wuhan, China, and at least 11 other cities have been quarantined as China attempts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. That's about 33 million people on lockdown. The first case of the coronavirus was reported in Wuhan in December, and is thought to have originated at the Huanan Seafood Market, a wet market that sold live animals next to seafood and meat. Source: Business Insider The Huanan Seafood Market was closed on January 1. Source: Business Insider Chinese authorities began an official investigation into the disease in early January, after fear began spreading that this could be like SARS, another coronavirus that originated in China and killed 774 people in the early 2000s. Source: Business Insider After the initial outbreak, people began wearing masks to protect themselves from the virus. Source: Business Insider When it became known that the virus could spread from human to human contact, China imposed screening precautions in Wuhan and began checking people for the virus at transportation hubs. Source: Business Insider Medics wearing Level D Hazmat suits were seen scanning passengers arriving from Wuhan on January 22. Source: Business Insider As the death toll climbed to nine, the Chinese government urged people to avoid traveling to Wuhan and stay away from public spaces — a warning that came just as millions of people were planning to migrate for the Lunar New Year. Source: Business Insider On January 23, the death toll grew to 17 and the city of Wuhan was put on official lockdown. All transportation was stopped and wearing a protective mask became mandatory. Source: Business Insider During the quarantine, people in Wuhan are left to stockpile food and fuel, and urged to avoid the streets. Source: Business Insider As panic began to spread throughout China, videos surfaced of infected people being shoved into plastic boxes and tubes as authorities try to contain the virus. Source: Business Insider Shortly after Wuhan, two other Chinese cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, closed its transportation, as well. At this point, 19 million people were put on lockdown. Source: Business Insider But the virus continued to spread. By the end of the day on January 23, the death toll grew to 26. Source: Business Insider By the afternoon of January 24, the virus had infected more than 900 people and spread to nine countries. Authorities in Wuhan struggled to contain an influx of patients. Source: Business Insider One doctor in Wuhan said thousands of patients have been left waiting hours for treatment, and many were advised not to work over fears that they could become infected. Source: Business Insider Protective gear and test-kits have become so sparse in Wuhan that people have reportedly likened their chances to receiving them as "winning the lottery". Source: Business Insider As hospitals struggle to treat an influx of new patients, the Chinese government announced plans to build a new hospital in Wuhan in just six days. Source: Business Insider The hospital will be located on the outskirts of the city. It's set to open on February 3 with 1,000 new beds to treat patients. Source: Business Insider By Friday, January 24, more than 900 people have been infected worldwide, and 12 Chinese cities have now been quarantined. An estimated 33 million people have now been put on lockdown. Source: Business Insider People are being screened for the virus at major transportation hubs around the world. Source: Business Insider As of Friday, countries affected by the disease include: China, US, France, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Nepal. Source: Business Insider