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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Now tracking the new emerging SARS-like coronavirus known as the Wuhan Coronavirus in China.

China Investigates SARS Like Pneumonia Disease

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    Posted: December 31 2019 at 5:07am
China Investigates Respiratory Illness Outbreak Sickening 27


By Associated Press
December 31, 2019 04:54 AM



BEIJING - Chinese experts are investigating an outbreak of respiratory illness in the central city of Wuhan that some have likened to the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic.

The city's health commission said in a statement Tuesday that 27 people had fallen ill with a strain of viral pneumonia, seven of whom were in serious condition.

It said most had visited a seafood market in the sprawling city, apparently pointing to a common origin of the outbreak.

Unverified information online said the illnesses were caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which emerged from southern China and killed more than 700 people in several countries and regions. SARS was brought under control through quarantines and other extreme measures, but not before causing a virtual shutdown to travel in China and the region and taking a severe toll on the economy.

However, the health commission said the cause of the outbreak was still unclear and called on citizens not to panic.



Source:   https://www.voanews.com/science-health/china-investigates-respiratory-illness-outbreak-sickening-27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2019 at 6:40pm
Good find. This is not good if it's Sars v2. 27 people ill would be a large cluster for Sars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2019 at 8:10pm
When the government tells you not to panic that is when you RUN! Movie: 2012

We can learn a lot from movies!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2019 at 8:40pm
Originally posted by FluMom FluMom wrote:

When the government tells you not to panic that is when you RUN! Movie: 2012

lol


… and when China says 27 it's more like 270.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 2:00am
Things are getting worse. I just missed this article: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/eib9ut/a_scary_unidentified_virus_is_spreading_in_china/ they removed it just before I got there to post it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John L. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 3:21am
This could also be a dangerous new drifted flu virus. Definitely bares watching.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 3:36am
Technophobe: It is probably Pneumonia or SARS, it is currently unclear which is most likely.

31st December 2019

Chinese health chiefs investigate respiratory illness outbreak

By Press Association 2019



Chinese experts are investigating an outbreak of respiratory illness in the central city of Wuhan which some have likened to the 2002-2003 Sars epidemic.

The city’s health commission said 27 people had fallen ill with a strain of viral pneumonia, seven of whom are in serious condition.

It said most had visited a seafood market in the sprawling city, apparently pointing to a common origin of the outbreak.

Unverified information online said the illnesses were caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), which emerged from southern China and killed more than 700 people in several countries and regions.

Sars was brought under control through quarantines and other extreme measures, but not before causing a virtual shutdown to travel in China and the region and taking a severe toll on the economy.

However, the health commission said the cause of the outbreak is still unclear and called on citizens not to panic.


Source:   https://www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/uk_national_news/18129889.chinese-health-chiefs-investigate-respiratory-illness-outbreak/

Of course we may never know; China is the master of the coverup/silence, after all. Perhaps we do not want to know, as the only way we are likely to find anything out is if it has already spread widely and is now eligible for pandemic status. Let's hope not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 3:48am
This might get a bit rrepetitive (SORRY!), but there does seem to be a small attempt at a cover-up so I am posting what I can find before there is any chance to remove it.

Hong Kong takes emergency measures as mystery ‘pneumonia’ infects dozens in China’s Wuhan city

    Most patients worked at a seafood market and health workers are still trying to identify virus responsible
    City authorities tell hospitals to report any more cases of the illness, which is described as being ‘of unknown origin’

SCMP
Mandy Zuo in Shanghai, Lilian Cheng , Alice Yan , Cannix Yau

Published: 2:35pm, 31 Dec, 2019

Updated: 1:17am, 1 Jan, 2020


News

China shuts seafood market linked to mystery viral pneumonia outbreak

1 Jan 2020

Law enforcement officers stand guard outside the seafood market in Wuhan that was ordered to close after a mystery flu outbreak. Photo: Yangtze

Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market, where most of the mystery viral pneumonia cases have originated. Photo: HandoutWuhan’s Huanan seafood market, where most of the mystery viral pneumonia cases have originated. Photo: Handout

Hong Kong health authorities are taking no chances with a mysterious outbreak of viral pneumonia in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, warning of symptoms similar to Sars and bird flu as they step up border screening and put hospitals on alert.

“The situation in Wuhan is unusual, and we are not sure about the reasons behind the outbreak yet,” said Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said after an urgent night-time meeting with officials and experts on New Year’s Eve. “Since we are now in the holiday season, and Hong Kong has close transport ties with Wuhan, we must stay alert.”

With Wuhan reporting 27 infections so far, Chan said the Department of Health would increase vigilance and temperature screenings at every border checkpoint, including the city’s international airport and high-speed railway station in West Kowloon.

Hospital Authority chief executive Tony Ko Pat-sing said frontline medical staff had been alerted at public and private hospitals.

“So far, there are no suspicious pneumonia cases in public hospitals,” he said. “But once we suspect cases, including the presentation of fever and acute respiratory illness or pneumonia, and travel history to Wuhan within 14 days before onset of symptoms, we will put the patients into isolation.”

Experts from the University of Hong Kong have also been enlisted to conduct faster genetic testing of virus samples.

News of the outbreak in Wuhan came to light after an urgent notice from the city’s health department, which told hospitals to report further cases of “pneumonia of unknown origin”, started circulating on social media on Monday night.

The notice invoked memories of the 2002 and 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars, which killed hundreds of people in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Over the past month, 27 patients in Wuhan – most of them stall holders at the Huanan seafood market – have been treated for the mystery illness.

The Wuhan municipal health commission said seven of the patients were seriously ill. Two had nearly recovered and were about to leave hospital, while the remaining patients were in a stable condition. Most patients had fevers and some were short of breath.

The health commission’s initial investigations, which included clinical diagnosis and laboratory tests, suggested all 27 were viral pneumonia cases.


No human-to-human infection had been reported so far, officials said, and no medical staff had contracted the disease. More pathological tests and investigations were underway.

Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung from the University of Hong Kong noted similarities with the 1997 outbreak of avian influenza, and the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic of 2003 – all cases in Wuhan were linked to the same seafood market, reported in December, and with a severe infection rate of 25 per cent.

“But there’s no need to panic. First, compared with 2003, we have better systems in notification, testing and infection control. We also have medicines that we can try,” Yuen said.

Hong Kong public hospitals to introduce expanded test for respiratory infections for children

19 Nov 2019

“In the past, we didn’t have proper isolation facilities. If you ask me will there be any chance that the severity will be the same as in 2003, I will say the chance is low. All we have to do is to be on alert.”

The 2003 epidemic infected more than 1,750 people and killed 299 in Hong Kong.

The patients in Wuhan were under quarantine while tests and a disinfection programme were being carried out at the seafood market, the city’s health authorities said.

Qu Shiqian, a vendor at the seafood market, said government officials had disinfected the premises on Tuesday and told stallholders to wear masks.

He said he had only learnt about the pneumonia outbreak from media reports.

“Previously I thought they had flu,” he said. “It should be not serious. We are fish traders. How can we get infected?”

State television reported that a team of experts from the National Health Commission had arrived in Wuhan to lead the investigation, while People’s Daily said the exact cause remained unclear and it would be premature to speculate.

People’s Daily also quoted several hospital sources in the city who said it was likely that the virus responsible was different from Sars, which infected more than 5,300 people and killed 349 in mainland China between late 2002 and mid-2003.

Tao Lina, a public health expert and former official with Shanghai’s centre for disease control and prevention, said that while a return of Sars could not be ruled out, the public health care system was now better able to handle such an outbreak.

“We don’t know whether Sars will come back after 16 years. In human history, we’ve never seen an epidemic disappear forever without the interference of vaccines. So we have reasons to be cautious, but not to panic too much,” Tao said.

“I think we are [now] quite capable of killing it in the beginning phase, given China’s disease control system, emergency handling capacity and clinical medicine support.”

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Sars-like virus puts Hong Kong on alert

Source:   https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3044050/mystery-illness-hits-chinas-wuhan-city-nearly-30-hospitalised
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 3:51am
There is a video with this one, but I can't post it. Hopefully it will stay in place as the Independant is well named.

Nearly 30 people struck by outbreak of mystery illness in Chinese city

Experts suspect link to seafood market, but residents fear return of Sars epidemic that killed hundreds

    Jane Dalton
    @JournoJane
    17 hours ago

Health chiefs in China are investigating an outbreak of a respiratory illness that some people have likened to the 2003 Sars epidemic that killed nearly 800 people.

Doctors say 27 people have fallen ill in December with a suspected strain of viral pneumonia, seven of whom are in serious condition.

Most of the sick had visited a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan, and experts are investigating whether the disease is linked to it.

“The cause of the disease is not clear,” the official People’s Daily newspaper posted online, citing hospital officials. “We cannot confirm it is what’s being spread online, that it is the Sars virus. Other severe pneumonia is more likely.”

Experts from the National Health Commission travelled to Wuhan to lead the investigation into the disease, state television reported.

Doctors have yet to identify the virus responsible but initial laboratory tests showed that the cases were viral pneumonia and had not spread from person to person, according to the Wuhan health commission.

Patients were isolated and their close contacts were under medical observation. An investigation and clean-up were under way at the seafood market, the commission said.


Two of the 27 had improved so much they were expected to leave hospital soon, the health authorities added.

Social media users suggested the outbreak could be linked to Sars, which emerged in southern China in late 2002, spreading rapidly to other cities and countries.

More than 8,000 people were infected worldwide and 775 died, according to the World Health Organisation.

Chinese authorities covered up the outbreak for weeks before a growing death toll and rumours forced the government to reveal the epidemic, apologise and vow full openness in future outbreaks.

One man in Britain who was in contact with a Hong Kong businessman was the first person in the UK to become infected.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-illness-outbreak-sars-pneumonia-sick-virus-wuhan-health-a9265506.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 3:56am
SARS fears in China as 27 patients are struck down with 'unidentified' type of pneumonia similar to the killer virus of the early 2000s


    Experts investigating mystery disease that has plagued 27 people in Wuhan city
    Officials fear outbreak is linked to deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
    In 2003, 775 people died from virus and China attempted to cover outbreak up

By Connor Boyd Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 09:24, 31 December 2019 | Updated: 03:04, 1 January 2020


Almost 30 people have been struck down with an 'unidentified' form of pneumonia in China, sparking fears of another SARS epidemic.

Seven patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, are fighting for their lives in hospital from the mysterious disease.

Experts have been drafted in to investigate the cause of the disease, which officials fear is linked to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The highly contagious virus, a form of pneumonia, killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in the early 2000s. No cases have been recorded in the world since 2004.

The Wuhan Wuhan Municipal Health Commission today issued an emergency alert about the cases, which have all occurred since the start of December.

The organisation said hospitals across the city have treated a 'successive series of patients with unexplained pneumonia'.
A team of experts have been drafted in to investigate the 'unidentified' pneumonia that has plagued 27 people in Wuhan city, in Hubei province. Most patients worked at Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market

A team of experts have been drafted in to investigate the 'unidentified' pneumonia that has plagued 27 people in Wuhan city, in Hubei province. Most patients worked at Wuhan's Huanan seafood market

Of the people infected, seven are in critical condition, 18 are stable and two are on the verge of being discharged soon.

All of the patients have been isolated and their close contacts are under medical observation, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said.

An investigation and cleanup were under way at a seafood market in the city where most of the patients worked.

It is suspected to be connected with the cases. Initial laboratory tests showed that the cases were viral pneumonia.

No obvious human-to-human transmission had been found and no medical staff had been infected, the commission said.

Experts from the National Health Commission is to carry out further tests, in hope of finding a cause of the cases.

An unnamed hospital source told the official People's Daily newspaper: 'The cause of the disease is not clear.

'We cannot confirm it is what's being spread online, that it is SARS virus. Other severe pneumonia is more likely.'

Central Hospital in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where an 'unknown pneumonia' has left seven people fighting for their lives

An official at Wuhan Central Hospital, where local media said some of the cases are being treated, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

In 2003, Chinese officials covered up a SARS outbreak for weeks before a growing death toll and rumours forced the government to reveal the epidemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) criticised China for under reporting the number of SARS cases following the outbreak.

SARS, which emerged in southern China in late 2002, spread rapidly from south China to other cities and countries in 2003. More than 8,000 people were infected and 775 died.

China sacked its then health minister Zhang Wenkang for the poor handling of the crisis in 2003, several months after the first case was reported.

WHO announced that China was free of the deadly SARS virus in May 2004.

Since 2004, there have not been any known cases of SARS reported anywhere in the world, the NHS says.


Source:   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7839625/Dozens-struck-unidentified-pneumonia-China.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 3:58am
That is it so far. I will post anything else I find. But I can't promise not to be repetitive, as almost everyone is saying exactly the same things, just differently organised/expressed. I am posting without taking the time to weed out old news from new because I don't trust the stuff to stay visible for long.
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China investigates SARS-like virus as dozens struck by pneumonia

Health experts have been dispatched to the central city of Wuhan after 27 people were struck down by viral pneumonia. A 2003 outbreak of the highly-contagious SARS virus was covered up and killed hundreds of people.

Chinese health authorities on Tuesday said they are investigating 27 cases of viral pneumonia in central Hubei province, amid online speculation that it could be linked to the SARS flu-like virus that killed hundreds of people a decade ago.

A team of senior health experts were dispatched to the city of Wuhan and were reported by state broadcaster CCTV to be "conducting relevant inspection and verification work."

Wuhan health officials issued an emergency notification on Monday after local hospitals treated a "successive series of patients with unexplained pneumonia."

Of the 27 reported cases, seven are in a critical condition and 18 are stable, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said on Tuesday on its Weibo social media account.

The condition of two other patients had improved to the point where they would be discharged soon, it said.

Read more: Swine fever: Scientists warn quarter of world's pigs could die

'Report cases quickly'

The emergency notification urged hospitals to offer treatment and report cases in a "timely manner."

The commission added that an investigation and cleanup were underway at a seafood market in the city, which is suspected to be connected with the cases.

Initial laboratory tests showed that the cases were viral pneumonia. No obvious human-to-human transmission had been found and no medical staff had been infected, the commission said.

News of the pneumonia outbreak led to speculation online that it might be linked to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a highly contagious respiratory disease.

But the official People's Daily newspaper said on Weibo: "the cause of the disease is not clear."

"We cannot confirm it is what's being spread online, that it is SARS virus. Other severe pneumonia is more likely," it said, citing hospital officials.

SARS cover-up

In late 2002, officials covered up a SARS outbreak in southern China for weeks before a growing death toll and rumors forced the government to reveal the epidemic, apologize and vow full candor in future outbreaks.

In mainland China, 349 people were killed, along with another 299 in Hong Kong. The disease spread rapidly to other cities and countries in 2003. More than 8,000 people were infected and 775 died.

SARS was brought under control through quarantines and other extreme measures, but not before causing a virtual shutdown to travel in China and the region and taking a severe toll on the economy.

mm/aw (AFP, AP, Reuters)


Source:   https://www.dw.com/en/china-investigates-sars-like-virus-as-dozens-struck-by-pneumonia/a-51843861
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 5:43am

A scary unidentified virus is spreading in China

Mike Wehner @MikeWehner

December 31st, 2019 at 11:44 AM


Dozens of residents of Wuhan, the capital city of the Hubei province in China, haven hospitalized with an unidentified virus that is causing pneumonia-like symptoms. Chinese health officials have no idea how the virus is spreading or where it originated, but experts are tracking the progress of the outbreak in an attempt to halt its spread.

As the South China Morning Post reports, the sickness is being referred to as “unknown pneumonia,” though that doesn’t exactly offer much in the way of details. It seems that many of those who have been infected with the virus worked in the seafood industry and ran stalls at the Huanan seafood market, according to reports.

The illness has left at least seven people in serious condition, which needless to say is a bit scary. Thankfully, the unidentified virus has yet to claim a life. According to the Wuhan health department, at least a couple of hospitalized individuals saw their conditions improve enough to be discharged, pending a quarantine hold and further testing.

Based on what Chinese health officials have been able to figure out, none of the infections were the result of spread from one person to another. None of the doctors of hospital staff treating the patients has come down with a similar illness, and all of this suggests that the infected individuals came into contact with the virus at their place of work.

Officials are still working on getting to the bottom of the small-scale outbreak, though at the moment it would seem that they have a pretty good idea of where to look. Identifying the virus itself is a top priority, and tests are currently being run to narrow the list down, according to reports.


Source:   https://bgr.com/2019/12/31/china-pneumonia-sickness-outbreak-virus/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 12:58pm
According to China officials, no evidence of human transmission? Well, since it's viral pneumonia, that in itself is spread via h2h. China.....   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 2:27pm
Could it be bird flu? They are talking about chickens & poultry market, and H7N9 is fairly good with bird to human transmission. A new avian flu bug?      

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3044207/china-shuts-seafood-market-linked-mystery-viral-pneumonia
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 2:33pm
With China, who knows? We all know that, not only do they employ the practices most likely to encourage zoonosis, but then have the most successful whitewash campaigns.

It is as if they WANTED to breed the next slate-wiper.
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Dec 31, 2019 07:34 PM

Outbreak of Mysterious Lung Disease Sparks SARS Rumors


By Ding Jie, Huang Huizhao, Su Huixian, Chen Zhinan, and Matthew Walsh

China is investigating an outbreak of viral pneumonia that had infected 27 people in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as of Tuesday.

Chinese authorities are scrambling to identify a mysterious lung disease afflicting a number of people in the city of Wuhan that sparked online speculation of a new SARS outbreak akin to the one that killed hundreds of people in China in 2002 and 2003.

In a notice published Tuesday on its website, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission confirmed that disease-monitoring organizations in the central Chinese city had recently discovered 27 cases of viral pneumonia.

Patients commonly displayed symptoms including fever, difficulty breathing, and lung damage. Among those infected, seven are in a serious condition, 18 are stable and two have become well enough to be discharged from hospital, the notice said. Most patients fell ill after visiting the same seafood market, the notice said, hinting that the virus has a common origin.

On Tuesday, unverified information that circulated widely on the Chinese internet claimed the cause of the illnesses was SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, a viral respiratory disease that infected thousands of people in southern China and Hong Kong in 2002 and 2003. The epidemic caused some 774 deaths in a number of countries and territories.

Chinese state media outlets have stressed that the cause of the current illnesses remains unknown, that fears of a new SARS epidemic are premature, and that the country has a robust system for dealing with epidemics. At the time, Chinese authorities managed to control the disease by imposing strict quarantines and travel bans. No known SARS cases are thought to have occurred since 2004.

A group of experts dispatched by China’s National Health Commission arrived in Wuhan Wednesday morning to investigate the outbreak. Wuhan’s municipal health commission told Caixin in a phone call that it had formed an emergency response team to look into the illnesses, but had not yet taken the step of announcing an epidemic.

A manager of a wholesaler in the market at the center of the investigation told Caixin that “three or four” people wearing white protective equipment arrived Wednesday morning and sprayed the entire market with what appeared to be a decontaminant. However, multiple vendors told Caixin that the market remained open as usual as of Tuesday afternoon.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Source:   https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-12-31/outbreak-of-mysterious-lung-disease-sparks-sars-rumors-101499945.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2020 at 5:24am
Another person infected, and did not go to the same poultry market. Again in this article they mention bird flu. My guess is H7N9, and not sure why they have not ruled out a flu virus as of yet. China...


Hong Kong woman hospitalised and quarantined after returning from site of pneumonia outbreak in China

Woman admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital displaying symptoms of upper respiratory infection

Patient had recently returned from Wuhan, where there has been a mysterious spate of viral pneumonia cases

A woman has been quarantined in a Hong Kong hospital after displaying symptoms of upper respiratory infection, following a trip to Wuhan where a mysterious outbreak of viral pneumonia has occurred.

The Hospital Authority confirmed on Thursday that the Hongkonger, who is currently stable, was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on New Year’s Eve.

“As the patient said she had been to Wuhan before developing symptoms, Tuen Mun Hospital immediately arranged for her to stay in an isolation ward for treatment,” a spokesman for the authority said.

A hospital source said the woman had a fever but it had subsided, adding she was in Wuhan during the Christmas break.

Another source from the authority quoted the woman as saying she did not go to Huanan seafood market, where most of the unidentified viral pneumonia cases in Wuhan had originated.

Hong Kong health authorities recently stepped up border screening and put hospitals on alert following the outbreak in the central Chinese city, warning of symptoms similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome – or Sars – and bird flu.

Samples of the Hong Kong patient have been sent to the Department of Health for further testing. The case has also been reported to the department’s Centre for Health Protection for follow-up.

The department said initial testing by its Public Health Laboratory Services Branch found negative results in the woman for Sars, influenza and bird flu.

Speaking to the Post, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung from the University of Hong Kong said next-generation sequencing, a technology that can give insight into DNA details, was still being conducted on the woman’s sample to understand the cause of her illness.
“At the moment we still haven’t identified anything significant,” Yuen said, adding that the result would possibly be available on Friday or Saturday.

He urged the public not to worry.
“Her chance of having caught something serious is slim,” he said. “In general, if a person’s fever has subsided, the chance of transmitting the disease would be much smaller.”

Macau, a city neighbouring Hong Kong, has also stepped up measures to guard against the disease. Since the start of the new year, Macau’s health authorities have been measuring the temperatures of passengers on flights from Wuhan.
Meanwhile, more than 100 district councillors signed a petition to Hong Kong’s director of health to step up efforts in preventing the spread of the disease in the city.

They called for isolated checks on passengers with fever on the high-speed rail link from Wuhan, and to disclose how many such individuals were identified, as well as for mainland authorities to reveal the areas of infections and the number of patients.

The Centre for Food Safety stated in a reply to the Post that there were no farms registered in Wuhan to supply livestock or aquatic stock to Hong Kong. There were also no such imports, including meat, from the mainland Chinese city last year.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3044276/hong-kong-woman-hospitalised-and-quarantined
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Ooooh, spreading!............................
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‘Unknown’ Viral Pneumonia Outbreak in China Has Hong Kong, Taiwan Worried About SARS

By Nicole Hao January 2, 2020 Updated: January 2, 2020

Hong Kong and Taiwan are on high alert following a notice from Chinese authorities on Dec. 31 that 27 people contracted an “unknown viral pneumonia” in the central city of Wuhan.

With some netizens likening the outbreak to the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that killed almost 800 people in 2002-2003 after being covered up by Chinese authorities, the Hong Kong and Taiwan government have called for faster medical testing after Chinese authorities said they were yet to confirm the cause of the outbreak.

As China has the technology to identify viruses within 48 hours, the authority’s slow response has led many to be suspicious as to why the disease has yet to be identified.
Emergency Notice for New Outbreak

On Dec. 30, Wuhan city Health Commission released an “Emergency Notice About Unknown Pneumonia.” The notice said that several Wuhan hospitals had received pneumonia patients with similar symptoms and that no further details were available.

The notice was soon spread by Chinese netizens via different social media platforms. Although the government soon censored this information, the notice was broadly spread among overseas Chinese communities.

On Dec. 31, state-run media confirmed the outbreak but also did not have any information about the cause of the infections.

The report said patients’ symptoms included fever, having difficulty breathing and invasive lesions in both lungs. 27 people from Wuhan had fallen ill, with seven of them in serious condition.

Most of the patients were sellers at the Huanan Seafood Market located close to Hankou Railway Station in the city’s Jianghan district. That same market was linked to all SARS cases seen in Wuhan in 2003. The market is not limited to selling seafood, netizens said, but also sees various animals including cats, snakes, and marmots.

The notice added that hospitals were planning to release two of the 27 infected people in the next few days after some more treatment, while 18 other patients are in a stable condition.

The state-run People’s Daily reported on the afternoon of Dec. 31 that the initial investigating team didn’t find an obvious human-to-human transmission, and that so far, no medical staff have been infected.

“The cause of the disease is not clear,” the newspaper said on the popular social media platform Weibo, citing unnamed hospital officials. “We cannot confirm it is what’s being spread online, that it is SARS virus. Other severe pneumonia is more likely.”

The Chinese National Health Commission, a cabinet-level executive department for sanitation and health, said it has sent a group of experts to Wuhan on Dec. 31 to lead more tests and another investigation.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Taiwan have stepped up border screening and hospitals are on alert.
Hong Kong

Every day, there are four trains that run between Hong Kong and Wuhan. As a result, the presence of the disease in Wuhan has Hongkongers worried.

David Hui Shu-cheong, a professor of respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told local media on Dec. 31 that the critical situation of Wuhan’s viral pneumonia reminded him of what Hong Kong faced with SARS in 2003.

Hui pointed out that in 2003, one out of four SARS patients was in serious condition. He said mainland authorities should arrange virus tests as soon as possible. Meanwhile, people should wear a facial mask and wash their hands frequently if they plan to go to Wuhan, he added.

Yuen Kwok-yung, microbiology professor at Hong Kong University, tried to calm down the public after acknowledging that the outbreak had similarities to the 1997 outbreak of bird flu and the 2003 outbreak of SARS.

He said at a government-organized press conference on Dec. 31: “Now in Hong Kong and the mainland, the protection is better than 2003 … So I think people shouldn’t panic but must be alert, must follow the instructions from Hong Kong’s Department of Health and Hospital Authority.”
Taiwan

Fears about the disease has been a topic of great concern in Taiwan. People are worried that with the Chinese New Year holiday on Jan. 25, there is a heightened risk that the virus may be spread by Taiwanese businessmen returning from China.

Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) organized a press conference on the afternoon of Dec. 31. Lo Yi-Chun, the CDC’s deputy director, gave a briefing on the situation and said the agency had sent an inquiry email to China requesting information.

Lo said that once the Wuhan side has confirmed the type of virus, the Taiwanese government will set up an emergency working team to coordinate departments reacting to possible infections.

On Jan. 2, Taiwan News reported that a 6-year-old child who arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 31 after passing through Wuhan has developed a fever and is being closely monitored. However, the child was allowed to go home as they had not been traveling in Wuhan and had not been in contact with animals.

Since the first SARS epidemic, no additional cases of the virus have been reported so far worldwide.

The virus was first discovered in China’s Guangdong province in 2002, after which it spread to Hong Kong and other cities. At least 1,755 Hongkongers became infected with the SARS virus, of which 299 died. In neighboring Taiwan, 307 people contracted the virus, of which 47 died.

Globally, a total of 8,096 people from 31 countries contracted SARS, including Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and the Philippines.

There is currently no cure for SARS.


Source:   https://www.theepochtimes.com/unknown-viral-pneumonia-outbreak-in-china-has-hong-kong-taiwan-worried-about-sars_3190207.html
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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