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china coronavirus

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus cases are not rising dramatically outside China despite a spike in Hubei province.

The only exception was on the Diamond Princess cruise liner docked in Japan, where 44 new cases were reported, bringing the total there to 218.

According to the WHO, there was also no major shift in the coronavirus’s pattern of mortality or severity.

On February 12, Hubei recorded 242 deaths, the deadliest day of the outbreak.

There was also a huge increase in cases, with 14,840 people diagnosed but most of this was down to Hubei using a broader definition to diagnose people, said Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program.

He said: “This does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak.”

Outside China there had been two deaths and 447 cases in 24 countries, he said.

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On February 13, Japan announced its first coronavirus death – a woman in her 80s who lived in Kanagawa, south-west of Tokyo.

The woman’s diagnosis was confirmed after her death and she had no obvious link to China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, Japanese media reported.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship is in quarantine in Yokohama. Not all the 3,700 people on board have been tested yet.

People with the virus are taken to hospitals on land to be treated, while those on board are largely confined to their cabins.

On February 13, Japan said it would allow those aged 80 or over who have tested negative for the coronavirus to disembark.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said they could be allowed off the ship as early as February 14 but would have to stay in accommodation provided by the government, the Japan Times reported.

Meanwhile another cruise ship – the MS Westerdam – carrying more than 2,000 people docked in Cambodia after being turned away by ports in Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand despite having no sick patients on board.

Until February 13 increases, the number of people with the virus in Hubei was stabilizing.

The new cases and deaths in the province have pushed the national death toll above 1,350 with almost 60,000 infections in total.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said there had been “surprise” in the US at the new cases.

He said: “We’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese, these numbers are jumping around.”

The Trump administration was also disappointed that China had not accepted a US offer to send experts to help China respond to the outbreak, Larry Kudlow said.

China sacked two top officials in Hubei province hours after the new figures were revealed.

Only Hubei province – which accounts for more than 80% of overall Chinese infections – is using the new definition to diagnose new cases.

Chinese authorities have increased lockdown measures across Hubei province to try to control the spread of the new virus that has left 18 people dead in the country.

Wuhan, Hubei’s capital of 11 million people where the coronavirus first emerged, has no trains or planes in or out.

At least five other provincial cities are seeing clampdowns on transport.

There are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus, which has spread abroad, with Singapore and Vietnam the latest affected.

The new strain of coronavirus is believed to have originated at a market in Wuhan. One resident of the city said the atmosphere there felt like “the end of the world”.

The lockdown measures come as millions of people travel across China for the Lunar New Year holiday.

All the fatalities bar one so far have been in Hubei province. Most of the 17 victims there were elderly and suffered from other chronic diseases including Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.

An 18th victim, an elderly patient, was announced on January 23 in Hebei province, near the capital, Beijing.

Wuhan’s public transport lockdown came into force as of 10:00 local time, leaving normally busy train stations and airports empty.

One Wuhan resident said on social media site Weibo that people were on the “verge of tears” when they heard about the closures.

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Health authorities are reported to have made wearing a mask mandatory in Wuhan. They are advising people to avoid crowds and public gatherings.

Demand for rubber gloves and surgical masks has soared. Taobao, the Chinese online retail giant, has warned sellers not to profit from the outbreak by raising prices.

Huanggang, a city east of Wuhan, suspended bus and rail services and encouraged people not to leave the city. Cafes, cinemas, theatres and exhibitions are also being shut.

Ezhou, a city just south of Huanggang, has shut its train stations.

Xiantaohas canceled gatherings, suspended transport and set up temperature detection stations.

Chibi and Lichuanare suspending transport.

Beijing announced it had canceled all major Chinese New Year celebrations.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The new virus discovered in China, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses, but only six (the new one would make it seven) are known to infect people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people to avoid “unprotected” contact with live animals, thoroughly cook meat and eggs, and avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe disease. It’s not yet clear how bad this new coronavirus is.

If a patient has recovered from the infection, they should not pose a significant risk to others and can be sent home from hospital provided they are well enough.

The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.

There have not been any other suspected human cases reported prior to this.

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Given the type of virus, the incubation period (how long it takes for symptoms to appear after catching the infection) is days, rather than weeks.

It is not yet known how or when the virus became infectious to people.

Experts believe the first cases were transmitted by an animal.

At the moment, there is no vaccine that can protect people against this type of coronavirus, but researchers are looking to develop one.

It is a new strain that hasn’t been seen in humans before, which means doctors still have lots to learn about it.

Based on currently available information, the WHO has not recommended any restrictions on travel or trade.

You should re-check the latest travel advice before you depart.

Extra airport checks such as temperature scans have been put in place to screen some travelers in some countries/states.

Airports in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo have been screening air passengers from Wuhan and US authorities last week announced similar measures at three major airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

It is not yet known how the virus was transmitted. Other coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, came from cats and camels respectively.

Experts are working to find the source.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection apply. These include:

  • regular hand washing
  • covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • thoroughly cooking meat and eggs

Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.