China: Possible that new virus could spread between humans

China: Possible that new virus could spread between humans

Thai doctors diagnosed a Chinese traveller with mild pneumonia on 8 January which was later confirmed to have been caused by the so-called novel corona virus - which has already given rise to 41 pneumonia-like cases and one death in China.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the spectre of Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. A 61-year-old man has become the first person to die in China from a respiratory illness believed caused by a new virus from the same family as SARS, which claimed hundreds of lives more than a decade ago, authorities said.

"Usually there are 1,200 arrivals from Wuhan in Thailand, which can go up to 1,500 to 1,600 during Lunar New Year, so we will increase personnel", Thai Disease Control Department Director Sophon Iamsirithaworn told Reuters on Wednesday.

Kim said in the past, when new virus outbreaks appeared in Canada, Alberta hospitals were alerted and asked to triage patients who had travelled to affected countries, keep them separate from other patients, and tests were expedited through the provincial lab.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, said there were two family group cases among the recorded cases in Wuhan, including the husband and wife and a separate case of a father, son and nephew living together.

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She echoed Wuhan authorities' assertion that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn't had any exposure to the market.

When human coronaviruses spread to the lower tract, which includes the lungs, trachea and bronchi, they put more strain on the lungs.

The appearance of the first known case outside of China has elevated concerns that the mysterious virus - thought to be linked to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan - could pop up here in Canada. No other passengers were infected, it said, adding that the traveller was now ready to return to Wuhan.

World Health Organization has said there may have been limited human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus in China within families.

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