Indian school teacher first foreigner to contract SARS-like coronavirus in China

A health worker monitors a thermal scanner as passengers arrive at Narita airport near Tokyo

A health worker monitors a thermal scanner as passengers arrive at Narita airport near Tokyo

The early cases are known from Wuhan city where two people died due to respiratory illness. "The human versions cause common colds, but there have in the past been two instances where an animal corona virus has jumped into humans and caused problems".

"The first symptoms were mostly fever, cough or chest tightness, and shortness of breath", the agency said, advising anyone coughing or sneezing to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of germs.

In Wuhan, where the virus began to spread, 198 cases have been reported, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.

Some 100 employee's from the leading national public health institute in the United States have been dispatched to Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), and New York's John F. Kennedy airports to monitor passengers arriving from China.

The recent outbreak comes ahead of China's Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel domestically and overseas. That risk remains low, they say.

Differing reports now place the total number of infections at 45 or 50 cases.

Authorities are keen to avoid a repeat of the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in 2002 and 2003, which also originated in China. There have been two patients infected in Thailand and one in Japan.

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At least three other cases have surfaced outside of China, including one in Japan and two now confirmed in Thailand. Majority appear to have left for home for the Chinese New Year holidays.

But the health commission in Wuhan also acknowledged on Sunday that some people who had come down with the virus had no exposure to the market.

Dr Wiles said the concern for the new virus was that it had clearly come from an animal, but it's not known where it's come from and how well is it transmitted between people and how numerous people who get it become severely ill.

Medical staff members carry a patient into the Jinyintan hospital, where patients infected by a mysterious virus are being treated, in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 18, 2020. It is not clear if the virus is now capable of human-to-human transmission, but CDC officials say there are some indications that people may be able to spread the virus in a limited way.

Scientists with the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London warned in a paper published on Friday that the number of cases in the city was likely to be closer to 1,700, much higher than the number officially identified.

Shenzhen is China's fourth-largest city, with a population of about 12.5 million and is about 550 air miles from Wuhan. "We're about to celebrate the New Year, hope everyone is safe".

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