China pneumonia outbreak emanating from a single seafood market claims World Health Organization report


Temperature checks being conducted on passengers arriving from China at Incheon airport in Seoul on Thursday

A Chinese woman traveling to Thailand from Wuhan City was confirmed to be infected with a new strain of coronavirus and treated near Bangkok in the first reported case outside China, the Thai public health minister said Monday. Also, a total of 44 patients are identified to suffer from the disease, of which 33 are said to stable whereas rest 11 are severely ill, according to the WHO.

There are a wide range of coronaviruses.

However, at least twice previously, coronaviruses have emerged to infect people and cause severe diseases, such as has been seen with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). They attracted global attention in part because of the similarities of the cases to the SARS outbreak in 2003, when that virus went on to spread from China to Hong Kong and then to Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Toronto, Canada, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing almost 800.

So far, one person has died and dozens of others have been admitted to hospital with inexplicable pneumonia-like symptoms, including high fever, lung lesions, and respiratory problems.

Thailand's Ministry of Public Health said in a press statement that the Chinese woman's infection was confirmed on Sunday.

Gizmodo revealed that one of the only things that officials know for sure is the fact that this is not caused by the SARS virus.

The ministry has international-standard diagnosis and medical care and is closely coordinating with the World Health Organisation and all related departments within the airports to build trust among citizens and tourists, he said.

In China, a new type of corona virus appeared last month and has since infected 41 people and killed one. No deaths have been reported, nor has any case been reported of human-to-human transmission.

"The biggest challenge in 2003 was China's initial reluctance to explain what was happening", said Jim DeLuc, a former virologist at the American Centers for Disease and Control, who led an worldwide team of scientists who eventually coronavirus identified causing SARS. Seven others are in a vital situation, the Wuhan health authorities stated on Saturday.

According to the World Health Organization report, all evidence suggests that the infection spread through the interaction with one particular seafood market located in Wuhan.

The patient was a regular customer at the South China Seafood City food market, the same location where numerous cases have been traced back to.

The KCDC said that based on the latest test, and the state of the patient's health, it consulted doctors and chose to allow her to leave.

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