The deadly coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China has spread to nine other countries. The US reported its second case on Friday, and France has reported three cases as well. Hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel to and within China for the Lunar New Year, which raises the risk that the virus could spread further. Health experts recommend a few precautions to protect yourself while traveling. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
A coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China, has killed 41 people and infected more than 1,000. On Friday, the second case was reported in the US and three were reported in France — the first in Europe. The disease has spread to at least seven other countries outside China as well: Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Nepal. At first, authorities suspected that the coronavirus — which most likely originated at a seafood market — could only spread to humans from animals. But they have since determined that humans can transmit the virus to one other. The coronavirus family is a large group of viruses that typically affect the respiratory tract. Coronaviruses can lead to illnesses like the common cold, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which resulted in 8,000 cases and 774 deaths in China from November 2002 to July 2003. The outbreak's timing is especially worrisome, since hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel to and within China for the Lunar New Year celebration, which begins Saturday and lasts until February 8. "Travel spreads this kind of virus like wildfire," Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer at Healix International, which offers risk-management solutions for global travelers, told Business Insider. "I think we're going to see cases popping up in cities all over the world." Here's how to stay safe while flying.The virus started to spread across Asia before it reached the US and Europe. On Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the county's first case: a man in his 30s living in Washington state's Snohomish County — north of Seattle. The man had recently returned from a trip to China and is now in good health. The second patient was a woman in her 60s in Chicago, Illinois. "I think it's laudable that the Chinese authorities have identified this quickly," Hyzler said. "There seems to be a good sharing of information." Passengers traveling to the US from Wuhan are being rerouted to one of five airports. Some flights have been canceled.
The CDC announced Tuesday that 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 — are screening passengers for the virus. More than half of the flight from Wuhan to the US were canceled on Thursday. Airports in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea are also screening passengers for fever. "Screening is a very imperfect tool, but it's the only tool we have to try and prevent the importation of a disease," Eric Toner, a senior scientist at Johns Hopkins University, told Business Insider. Travelers should avoid close contact with people who are sick — particularly those with cold symptoms.
Some people who contracted the Wuhan virus reported symptoms including a fever, chills, headaches, and a sore throat. A few said they had difficulty breathing. Travelers should try to avoid contact with people who display symptoms similar to those of pneumonia or the common cold, such as coughing or runny noses. "What we don't know is to what extent this disease can be transmitted by people who are only mildly ill," Toner said. "That's one of the things that we're trying to figure out right now." Wearing a mask isn't particularly helpful, Toner said.
Many people in China have lined up to purchase face masks, which have reportedly started to sell out at some stores. "There's little harm in it," Toner said. "But wearing masks, except in the situation of a healthcare provider, has never been shown to be a very effective way to protect yourself from infectious diseases." The CDC warns travelers not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Travelers should wash their hands frequently with soap and water, making sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds, the CDC says. There are no vaccines to protect humans from contracting a coronavirus. "There is no cure for this virus," Hyzler said. "If there is a vaccine, it'll take years." If you're traveling to or within China, steer clear of live animals.
Scientists have traced the Wuhan virus to a local seafood market with live animals, and think it might have jumped from bats to snakes to people. Recent research suggests the virus that caused SARS in China may have spread to humans from horseshoe bats. "Ever since SARS, there have been calls for improving or closing down the live animal markets in China," Toner said. "There's an awful lot we don't yet know, but it is fair to say that live animal markets are a threat not just to the people who work in them, but to public health more generally." If you do become ill after traveling to or within China, report your symptoms to a health authority right away.
Toner said people who have been ill and visited China recently should tell a doctor about their travel history. "I think they're doing the right things," Toner said of the Chinese government's response. "They are screening for patients or passengers that are coming in. They are trying to educate them to make sure they get care. They're trying to isolate them as soon as they start getting sick. These are the things that prevent a transmission."
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 The spread of China's mysterious fatal Wuhan virus is poised to get worse as the Chinese New Year travel rush begins A 2nd case of the Wuhan coronavirus in the US was confirmed in Chicago
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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 »
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...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." Source: NDTV.