China has puked up some fresh bio- horror again this season. A new disease from the petri dish known as “Chyna”( said in Trump impersonation) has started making the news. Of course the media is rubbing it’s hands together at the thought of a major outbreak of death to report on. Or it would be if Bad Orange Man didn’t consume it’s every thought. Is it serious? No idea. I’m not a Plague Doctor. But it could be. These things always need to have one eye on them at all times. The world is past due for another Spanish Flu type situation.
Health authorities in a central Chinese city on Saturday reported the country’s first death from a new type of coronavirus, as the government braced for the Lunar New Year travel boom amid concerns over a possible outbreak similar to that of the SARS virus in the early 2000s.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said seven other people were in critical condition among a total of 41 who were suffering from pneumonia caused by a “preliminarily determined new type of coronavirus” as of Friday. That was down from the earlier figure of 59. The others were in stable condition and at least two had been released from a hospital.
The patient who died was identified as a 61-year-old man who had been hospitalized after suffering shortness of breath and severe pneumonia. The commission said the man, who died Thursday, also suffered from abdominal tumours and chronic liver disease and had been a frequent customer at a food market on Wuhan’s outskirts linked to the majority of cases.
China says the cause of the Wuhan outbreak remains unknown, but has sought to quash speculation that it could be a reappearance of the SARS epidemic, which killed hundreds in 2002 and 2003.
Authorities in many places, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan. US authorities last week announced similar measures at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
In Australia, a man who had travelled to Wuhan has been placed in isolation and is undergoing tests. China is the largest source of tourists to Australia, with more than one million people visiting last year.
How fast is it spreading?
There are fears that the virus could spread swiftly – and further across the country – as millions of people across China prepare to travel home for the Chinese New Year holidays later this week.
What do we know about the virus?
The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans.
It is believed to have originated from infected animals at a seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan.
The World Health Organization 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. It’s amazing people still need to be told these things.
Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Well that’s good to know. It sounds exactly like getting a cold.