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Viral pneumonia cases rise to 59 in central China, and it's not SARS

2020-01-06 03:34:32 GMT2020-01-06 11:34:32(Beijing Time) 

Chinese health care authorities in Wuhan said an outbreak of viral pneumonia was not Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or bird flu, and that they were still working to identify the cause and source.

In a statement posted on its website yesterday, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said 59 cases of unknown viral pneumonia had been reported till yesterday. Seven are in a critical condition.

All the 59 patients are alive and being treated in hospitals, the commission said on its website. There has been no human-to-human transmission.

The city government is actively searching for other potential patients and looking for the root cause of the outbreak.

It also said it had put 163 people who had contacts with the patients under medical observation.

The viral pneumonia started in the central city of Wuhan late last month.

In China’s mainland, authorities reported that the major cluster of recent infections have centered around a wet market in Wuhan where wild animals were sold.

The commission suggested that residents in Wuhan maintain airflow indoors and wear masks if needed.

Hong Kong raised its alert level to “serious” on Saturday after a woman who traveled to Wuhan during the Christmas holiday was admitted to hospital on Thursday for treatment of respiratory infections.

By mid-day Saturday, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority had reported a total of eight cases to the city’s health department.

Three are being treated in isolation at a public hospital, while the other five have been discharged.

Hong Kong officials also implemented enhanced monitoring and infection control in public hospitals and clinics. Thermal imaging systems were put in place on Friday at the international airport to check the body temperature of travelers arriving from Wuhan. Singapore also announced on Friday that travelers from Wuhan would be subject to temperature checks. 

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