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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 Guests 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 4:53am
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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2020 at 2:38pm

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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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
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China on high alert following outbreak of SARS-like virus

There are fears the deadly, dreaded SARS virus has returned after 30 people were struck down by a mysterious flu in China.

At least 30 people have been quarantined in China after they were struck down by a mysterious flu-like virus of “unknown origin”, sparking fears of a return of the dreaded SARS epidemic.

A team of experts from the National Health Commission (NHC) rushed to Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Tuesday and are “currently conducting relevant inspection and verification work”, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

An emergency notification issued by the Wuhan municipal health committee said hospitals in the city had treated a “successive series of patients with unexplained pneumonia”.

Of the 30 struck down by the virus, seven are in a critical condition while the others are stable, the NHC said in a statement.

Most of the patients were stallholders at the local Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been shut down in the wake of the outbreak while authorities investigate.

Initial laboratory tests found no “apparent human-to-human transmission” and so far no medical staff had been infected, the statement said.

“Investigation of the cause of infection is ongoing,” it added.

All patients have been quarantined and their close contacts are under medical observation, according to the commission.

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/china-on-high-alert-following-outbreak-of-sarslike-virus/news-story/aa48fd89228ddbef182558f7b7b69ed5
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With luck it might be a hybrid: African Swine flu/H7N9/SARS/H5N1.....

then we would really see some action on climate change.....lol

Sorry my sick sense of humor......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2020 at 5:39pm
Technophobe:   It seems that information is appearing very slowly and in tiny quanta. So, Here is the latest repitition. The only soupcon of a development, I have highlighted in yellow

No answers yet in China's pneumonia outbreak

Lisa Schnirring | News Editor | CIDRAP News
| Jan 02, 2020

As Chinese scientists continue their probe of an unusual viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, local officials yesterday closed the seafood market that was linked to the cases, as governments in nearby Asian destinations stepped up their surveillance in travelers and at hospitals.

The yet-unidentified source of the outbreak has led to rumors, mainly on social media, about a possible severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak and speculation about the possible emergence of a new zoonotic virus.

Earlier this week, officials in Hubei province said 27 people were sick with pneumonia, 7 of them in serious condition, and that all were isolated.

Seafood market also sold other animals

A World Health Organization (WHO) official told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that the group is in contact with Chinese authorities and that it is closely monitoring developments. Paige Snider, senior advisor to the WHO's China office, told the paper that investigations are still underway and authorities haven't yet confirmed the pathogen that's causing the illness.

The city where the outbreak occurred is home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, one of the country's top virology labs, which conducts work on emerging viruses and has connections with other global research groups.

According to local media cited by the SCMP report, the Huanan Seafood Market sold other animals, such as birds, pheasants, and snakes, along with organs of rabbits and other wildlife, triggering worries about the potential jump of an unknown virus to humans at the market.
China's neighbors step-up screening

In response, nearby jurisdictions have increased their border screening, and three travelers from Wuhan have been admitted to the hospital in Hong Kong.

After an inter-departmental meeting on the Wuhan pneumonia cases, Hong Kong officials briefed reporters on the developments. According to a transcript, Sophia Chan, secretary for food and health, said Hong Kong hasn't received any Wuhan-related severe pneumonia cases and that the three patients admitted to hospitals in Hong Kong had not visited the Wuhan market.

Chan also told reporters that starting tomorrow, the Hong Kong government will announce the number of related cases flagged by its heightened surveillance system. She also said surveillance has been increased at the hospital authority and the health department, notably at ports, where increased screening for patients with fevers is taking place.

Taiwan's Center for Disease Control announced similar stepped-up measures and had more details about one of the patients hospitalized in Hong Kong after travel to Wuhan, according to a government statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease news blog. The patient had upper-respiratory symptoms and is isolated in stable condition. Rapid screening tests for seasonal flu, SARS, and avian flu were negative.


Source:   http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/01/no-answers-yet-chinas-pneumonia-outbreak
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Not being SARS might not be good news; better the devil you know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2020 at 5:46pm
Nothing new here, but a sensible "summing-up".

Reports emerged earlier this week about a series of unspecified pneumonia cases in Wuhan, in the Hubei province in central China. The circumstances of the outbreak have led to speculation that the outbreak is linked to SARS, but there is no evidence at this point supporting this assertion. At this point, details are still relatively sparse, but we will look briefly at what is currently known and attempt to provide some context for this emerging event.

Unspecified Pneumonia

Initial coverage of the emerging outbreak was published on December 30, and at that time, 27 cases of the disease had been reported, all of whom had been hospitalized. Of these cases, 7 were reported as “critical,” 18 were stable, and 2 were anticipated to be discharged in the near future. All were treated in isolation. Symptoms included fever, pneumonia, and difficulty breathing, but the exact cause of the disease remains unknown. At this point, there has been no identified person-to-person transmission, but most of the patients worked at the nearby Huanan seafood market. In addition to seafood, vendors at the market also sell other animals and meat, including a variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Response

Chinese health officials have been deployed to Wuhan to investigate the outbreak. Initial laboratory testing indicated that the patients were suffering from viral pneumonia, and further tests are underway to identify and characterize the virus. Local health officials have conducted inspections and disinfection activities at the seafood market, and vendors were instructed to wear masks to reduce the risk of infection. As of January 1, the seafood market has closed indefinitely “for sanitation and renovation” as part of outbreak response efforts. Case investigations and contact tracing are underway as well, and the WHO has been in contact with Chinese health officials and is monitoring the situation. To our knowledge, there have been no official statements yet by the China CDC or other national-level officials, but local health officials from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission have commented publicly on the outbreak. As an additional note, China is already in the midst of responding to a major epidemic of African swine fever (ASF), so this outbreak will only further strain China’s available public health resources.

Nearby, Hong Kong has enhanced border screening in response to the outbreak in an effort to mitigate the risk of importation. According to Dr. Sophia Chan Siu-chee, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health, “Hong Kong has close transport ties with Wuhan,” and there was concern that Hong Kong’s New Year’s Eve festivities could provide ideal conditions for rapid spread of the disease. Hong Kong hospitals have been notified to be alert for patients meeting the case definition—fever, acute respiratory symptoms or pneumonia, and recent travel to Wuhan—and ready to isolate those individuals. Additionally, the University of Hong Kong is supporting the Food and Health Bureau by providing additional capacity to rapidly process patient specimens for genetic diagnostic tests. Similarly, Taiwan CDC announced that it will increase passenger screening on flights arriving from Wuhan. The enhanced screening measures will reportedly include Taiwan CDC officials boarding the inbound planes to screen passengers before they are permitted to deboard the aircraft. Taiwan CDC officials emphasized that the disease itself “is not known to resemble SARS” and that the screening measures were part of “routine inspections and quarantine measures.” Singapore has also implemented enhanced fever screening for flights arriving from Wuhan, and the Ministry of Health has alerted doctors to be alert for potential cases. Fever screening in both Taiwan and Hong Kong have identified febrile individuals arriving from Wuhan, but none have yet been identified as possible cases linked to the outbreak.

SARS Speculation

The initial reports of a cluster of pneumonia caused by an unidentified virus prompted speculation, initially on social media and then propagated by more traditional media sources, that the outbreak was a re-emergence of SARS or something similar. At this point, any link between this outbreak and SARS is purely speculative, and viral pneumonia can be caused by a number of different viruses. Many of the media reports about the current outbreak have referenced concerns about China’s response to the emergence of SARS. The initial report to the WHO on SARS in 2003 included 305 patients with an unknown pneumonia, identified over a period of several months. WHO officials criticized China over a lack of transparency and access to outbreak data at the onset of the investigation, and China’s Minister of Health and Beijing’s mayor were both removed from office following the initial response. Since that time, however, China has improved its notification and reporting practices for outbreaks, including for H7N9 avian influenza.

Wuhan health officials confirmed the outbreak on December 31, but the initial official report lacked detailed information on the identified cases, including the timeline for symptom onset and case identification. As of January 2, there has been no further official report regarding the outbreak, patients, or response activities, including from local and national health officials in China or the WHO. An article in the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) noted that the families of some patients in Wuhan have called for additional information from doctors and health officials. Channel News Asia (Singapore) reported that police in China have arrested several individuals for deliberately spreading false information linking the outbreak to SARS. Many questions remain about the current state of the outbreak and the findings from initial investigation and contact tracing efforts.

Multiple experts interviewed in several media reports indicated that China’s capacity to identify, diagnose, isolate, and treat patients with SARS-like illnesses has significantly improved since 2003, so even if the disease is determined to be SARS, it is unlikely that it would result in a similar epidemic. Additionally, there does not appear to be any evidence of transmission to healthcare workers or within healthcare facilities, a principal driver of the SARS epidemic (approximately 20% of all SARS cases were in healthcare workers).

Analysis

It is understandable that countries would want to be on the alert for the emergence and spread of a virus with the potential to cause a serious epidemic, but speculation that this emerging outbreak in China is due to a re-emergence of SARS is just that: speculation. The outbreak does appear to share some similarities with the emergence of SARS and avian influenza in China—eg, a cluster of respiratory illness or pneumonia without an identified cause, potential exposures in market settings—but there is no evidence yet to suggest that this outbreak has epidemic potential or that it is caused by SARS or a SARS-like coronavirus. China has made considerable progress since SARS, particularly in terms of disease surveillance and reporting as well as clinical isolation capacity, and the absence of any reports of nosocomial transmission is an encouraging sign that patients have been quickly identified and properly isolated to prevent further transmission.

This situation does, however, illustrate is the importance of providing complete surveillance information, particularly for outbreaks that garner global attention. Some media reports have raised concerns about China’s responses to previous similar outbreaks, such as SARS, but the fact that Chinese health officials have already reported the initial cases and publicly initiated an epidemiological response is promising. That being said, updated information regarding the epidemiological investigation and the initial patients would be helpful at this point in the outbreak. In the absence of such information, speculation will thrive as experts and the public try to piece together the story based on incomplete and potentially inaccurate data. Frequent updates and accurate information are key to combating misinformation during outbreaks. Additionally, if there is not reliable information provided about the disease or outbreak, countries may be inclined to take measures to prevent importation of the disease that may be in excess of what would be supported by the scientific evidence. But without solid information on which to rely, it is easier for countries to make the case that these enhanced measures are necessary and effective. It is in countries’ best interest to be proactive in publishing available clinical and epidemiological information and sharing updates with the international community, both to quell rumors and misinformation and to support appropriate disease control measures domestically and in other countries.

Outbreaks of unknown etiology—especially, unknown respiratory viruses—are always worth investigating fully, so we will certainly keep a close eye on this emerging event and provide updates via our Twitter account (@Outbreaks101).


Source:   https://www.outbreakobservatory.org/outbreakthursday-1/1/2/2020/unknown-viral-pneumonia-in-china
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2020 at 10:34pm
There is a Wuhan Institute Of Virology, but I can not find anything on their pages about the new virus.

Here is an old article from 2017 talking about Avian Flu in Wuhan.




ps. Albert, thanks for the warning on the home page.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 5:43am
Sure thing, Edwin. Thanks for the ongoing participation with great info.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 5:46am
So they have ruled out Sars and avian flu with rapid tests? Not sure what that means about this. A new Coronavirus? I suppose the mystery continues.... or China is covering something up. Again.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 7:41am
Not much new news, but it hit the front page of the BBC World section in the internet news.
BBC link
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 10:35am
All news sites gratefully accepted, Edwin!

China is synonymous with cover-up/whitewash, Boss; that is why all news is welcomed so intensely. - But you already knew that.

As to what it means........................

Well, initial tests usually give a guideline only. So there is no guarantee it is not SARS yet. Although, this is increasingly unlikely.

What worries me is the unknown. A novel virus might be horrific news! Then again it could be mild, without h2h transmission or even already stopped in its tracks.   With China, we just don't know...... 'And they ain't going to tell us!
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The W.H.O. web site is s..t,

has always been, what do they do

with the millions of dollars they get,

Certainly not up to date news....

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BBC News
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China pneumonia outbreak: Mystery virus probed in Wuhan
03 January 2020 China
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Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESA view over Wuhan city
Image captionThe outbreak has occurred in the city of Wuhan
Chinese authorities have launched an investigation into a mysterious viral pneumonia which has infected dozens of people in the central city of Wuhan.

A total of 44 cases have been confirmed so far, 11 of which are considered "severe", officials said on Friday.

The outbreak has prompted Singapore and Hong Kong to bring in screening processes for travellers from the city.

It comes amid online fears the virus could be linked to Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The potentially deadly, flu-like Sars virus killed more than 700 people around the world in 2002-03, after originating in China.

There has been speculation on social media about a possible connection to the highly contagious disease.

Wuhan police said eight people had been punished for "publishing or forwarding false information on the internet without verification".

The people who risked their lives to stop the virus
The Wuhan health commission said on Friday it was investigating the cause of the outbreak.

In a statement on its website, it said it had already ruled out a number of infection sources - including influenza, avian influenza and common respiratory diseases - but did not mention Sars.

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Map
There has also been no human-to-human transmission, the statement added. However, a number of those infected worked at a seafood market in the city, leading authorities to clean the area.

A spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was aware of the outbreak and was in contact with the Chinese government.

"There are many potential causes of viral pneumonia, many of which are more common than severe acute respiratory syndrome coronovirus," the spokesman added. "WHO is closely monitoring this event and will share more details as we have them. "

Presentational grey line
Fears sparked by an older epidemic
Analysis by BBC Health's Philippa Roxby

This latest outbreak appears to have sparked memories for those who dealt with a Sars epidemic 18 years ago.

At the time, the WHO criticised China for under-reporting the number of cases of Sars in a southern Chinese province.

In the 2002-03 epidemic, the virus affected more than 8,000 people in 26 countries, killing 349 people in mainland China and 299 in Hong Kong.

Travellers flying to other countries are thought to have been behind the large number of cases in that outbreak because Sars spreads quickly without swift treatment in hospital.

China sacked its health minister at the time for the poor handling of the crisis.

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The country has been free of Sars since May 2004.

More on this story
Sars: The people who risked their lives to stop the virus
16 August 2013

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
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Hong Kong Isolates Fever Patient After Mystery Virus Hits China's Wuhan
The lack of official information about an outbreak of viral pneumonia has residents of Wuhan fearing another SARS-style cover-up.
2020-01-02

The seafood market to which an epidemic of what China is calling "pneumonia of unknown cause" was traced in Wuhan, China, Dec. 31, 2019.
Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said on Thursday it had isolated a patient who arrived from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, which state media says has seen an outbreak of "viral pneumonia" in recent days, but that she tested negative for SARS, avian and seasonal influenza.

The woman has been placed in isolation at Tuen Mun Hospital after falling sick after arriving from Wuhan, where officials are investigating 27 cases of viral pneumonia, including seven people in critical condition.

The Authority said the woman has an upper respiratory tract infection and a fever and is in a stable condition, but has tested negative for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), as well as bird flu and regular influenza.

Officials in Wuhan said that several clinics and hospitals in the city have received patients suffering from pneumonia, of which the cause was unknown. However, all patients have previously visited a seafood market in the city.

A team of experts from the National Health Commission arrived in Wuhan on Tuesday, and are "conducting relevant inspection and verification work," state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Online activist Zhang Ruigen said there are concerns that the ruling Chinese Communist Party may seek to cover up the seriousness of the outbreak, as it was accused of doing in 2003 by the World Health Organization during the SARS outbreak.

"I think the Wuhan government is cracking down on information," Zhang said. "They are trying to do a news blackout, and they are calling the truth rumors and fake news the truth."

"When SARS broke out in 2003, the government also blocked the news and said it was rumors, and then said it couldn't be covered at all," Zhang said. "This is still the same routine: they are calling it 'pneumonia of unknown cause.'"

"The first thing they think about is how not to reveal the truth. The first thing they do is detain people and censor public speech," he said.

Coverup feared

A local resident surnamed Feng agreed.

"They are deleting everything, and people are frightened because they haven't made an official announcement yet," Feng said. "I think the local government wants to cover it up, because it's the end of the year, and stability matters more than anything; that's their MO."

SARS -- described as atypical pneumonia caused by a coronavirus -- killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong in 2003. The virus, which infected more than 8,000 people around the world, is believed to have originated in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

The WHO declared China free of the SARS virus in May 2004.

Initial reports indicated that a case of coronavirus-linked pneumonia was confirmed in the Central (No. 2) Hospital of the Tongji Medical College.

An employee who answered the phone at the hospital's department of respiratory medicine declined to comment when contacted by RFA.

"Sorry, we haven't received any feedback on the situation," the employee said.

An official who answered the phone at the Wuhan municipal health bureau said there was as yet no confirmed diagnosis of the disease.

"It should be referred to as pneumonia of unknown cause," the official said. "Don't cause panic. We haven't had any fatalities yet so people should just pay attention to hygiene and don't go to crowded places."

The seafood market that the epidemic was traced to lies close to Hankou Railway Station, which sees tens of thousands of people passing through every day, and yet the market hasn't been shut down, just subjected to disinfection routines, sources in the city told RFA.

While reports have suggested the virus may have come from infected meat at the market, health officials have said there have been no cases so far of human-to-human transmission.

Reported by Wong Siu-san and Sing Man for RFA's Cantonese Service, and by Qiao Long for the Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 4:11pm
The patient count has now reached 44 (that we know of).

China pneumonia outbreak: Thriller virus probed in Wuhan

Last updated Jan 3, 2020

Chinese authorities have launched an investigation into a mysterious viral pneumonia which has infected dozens of people in the central city of Wuhan.

A total of 44 cases have been confirmed so far, 11 of which are considered “severe”, officials said on Friday.

The outbreak has prompted Singapore and Hong Kong to bring in screening processes for travellers from the city.

It comes amid online fears the virus could be linked to Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The potentially deadly, flu-like Sars virus killed more than 700 people around the world in 2002-03, after originating in China.

There has been speculation on social media about a possible connection to the highly contagious disease.

Wuhan police said eight people had been punished for “publishing or forwarding false information on the internet without verification”.

The people who risked their lives to stop the virus

The Wuhan health commission said on Friday it was investigating the cause of the outbreak.

In a statement on its website, it said it had already ruled out a number of infection sources – including influenza, avian influenza and common respiratory diseases – but did not mention Sars.

There has also been no human-to-human transmission, the statement added. However, a number of those infected worked at a seafood market in the city, leading authorities to clean the area.

A spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was aware of the outbreak and was in contact with the Chinese government.

“There are many potential causes of viral pneumonia, many of which are more common than severe acute respiratory syndrome coronovirus,” the spokesman added. “WHO is closely monitoring this event and will share more details as we have them. “


Fears sparked by an older epidemic

Analysis by BBC Health’s Philippa Roxby

This latest outbreak appears to have sparked memories for those who dealt with a Sars epidemic 18 years ago.

At the time, the WHO criticised China for under-reporting the number of cases of Sars in a southern Chinese province.

In the 2002-03 epidemic, the virus affected more than 8,000 people in 26 countries, killing 349 people in mainland China and 299 in Hong Kong.

Travellers flying to other countries are thought to have been behind the large number of cases in that outbreak because Sars spreads quickly without swift treatment in hospital.

China sacked its health minister at the time for the poor handling of the crisis.

The country has been free of Sars since May 2004.

Source and links:   https://rnews.co.uk/china-pneumonia-outbreak-thriller-virus-probed-in-wuhan/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 4:19pm
Oh, and by the way, 121 under observation!

China pneumonia outbreak raises spectre of Sars as number infected jumps to 44

All those with the mystery illness in Wuhan are under quarantine, health authorities say, with a further 121 people under medical observation
    
The virus could be a new strain and take longer to identify, experts say

Chinese health
authorities should be on high alert for a possible new strain of pneumonia and learn from 2002’s deadly Sars epidemic, medical experts said after cases of a mystery outbreak almost doubled in three days.
The authorities in Wuhan, central China, said 44 people had been admitted to hospital with the unidentified virus, up from the 27 reported on Tuesday
. Eleven of them were in a serious condition, while a further 121 people who had been in close contact with the infected patients had been placed under medical observation. No deaths have been reported.

Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said that the origin of the viral pneumonia outbreak remained unknown. It said investigations had so far ruled out common flu, avian flu, adenovirus infection and other common respiratory diseases. Further laboratory tests and investigations were under way.

The commission added that there was no proof of human-to-human transmission, nor had any medical staff contracted the illness.

It came as Hong Kong Hospital Authority said on Friday that two female patients admitted to hospital after recently visiting Wuhan had been confirmed as having influenza, not the unidentified virus. In response to the Wuhan outbreak, airports in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan had tightened fever surveillance of arriving passengers.

Emily Chan Ying-yang, a medical professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a visiting professor at Oxford University, said the sudden rise in cases in Wuhan was “not alarming” but raised concerns that the virus may be a new strain.

It takes less than 24 hours to confirm common types of flu, but rare strains can take longer, Chan said.

“If it were Sars [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome], we are experienced in managing it,” Chan said. “But if it is a new strain, then we should pay attention.

“The scariest thing with Sars is its fatality rate, and that young people died. We don’t know whether the serious cases in Wuhan are young or old people – that deserves attention.”

She said it was important to share information with the public once the virus and cause were identified because large numbers of people would be travelling across China during the Lunar New Year in late January.

Professor Jiang Rongmeng, of Ditan Hospital in Beijing, one of China’s top centres for treating infectious diseases, said the rise in infections was probably a consequence of active detection and reporting of unexplained pneumonia cases.

“No apparent human-to-human transmission has been detected so far, otherwise there would have been a community outbreak with more infections,” he said.

Reports so far suggested that the pneumonia could be caused by a rare virus or a previously unknown one, Jiang said, adding that identification may take up to a week.

When the Wuhan health authority first reported the outbreak on Tuesday, it said that most of the patients were stallholders at the city’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

Later reports confirmed that the market sold other live animals including birds and rabbits, prompting comparisons with the Sars virus, which is thought to have jumped from animals to humans. Authorities ordered the closure of the market on Wednesday.

A Wuhan government official who requested anonymity said that his wife, who is a nurse in the infectious disease unit at Wuhan Central Hospital, had been unable to go home because her ward had been under “lockdown” for the past few days.

“My kids and I can still call her on her mobile,” he said. “[But] we are very worried for her, although she said all is fine.”

Dr Gauden Galea, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) representative in China, said in a statement on Thursday that the Wuhan municipal health commission had “isolated cases, initiated contact tracing and made further efforts to prevent the spread of disease”. A national expert team had been deployed to Wuhan on Tuesday, he said.

“There are many potential causes of this type of illness and further laboratory tests are ongoing to determine the cause of the disease,” Galea said. “At this point, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus is not yet confirmed or excluded as the cause of the outbreak.”

The 2002-03 Sars epidemic infected more than 5,300 people and killed 349 in mainland China. In Hong Kong, 1,750 people were infected and 299 died. The Hong Kong government took 10 days to identify the Sars virus in 2003.

According to the WHO, the Sars coronavirus is thought to be an animal virus from an as-yet-uncertain animal reservoir, perhaps bats, that spread to other animals and first infected humans in Guangdong, near Hong Kong, in late 2002.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said on Friday that the city’s government had “made necessary arrangements and strengthened prevention measures” in response to the pneumonia cases in Wuhan.

Speaking at an inspection of the West Kowloon Rail Terminus, Lam said the government would announce any cases of infection daily, and urged members of public to take appropriate personal hygiene measures.

On a Cathay Dragon flight into Wuhan on Friday evening, the flight attendants were wearing face masks, and made an announcement warning travellers to stay away from seafood markets and to seek medical attention if they experienced a fever or other symptoms.

Additional reporting by Christy Leung, Josephine Ma, Zhuang Pinghui, Linda Lew and William Zheng


Source:   https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3044535/wuhan-pneumonia-dramatic-rise-cases-44-11-serious
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 4:23pm
Although this is scary, it could turn out to be anything - even a storm in a teacup. So don't let it take your eyes off of other balls like Kilt's latest graphs http://www.avianflutalk.com/us-on-track-for-one-of-the-worst-flu-seasons_topic40297_post280894.html#280894. So if you have not got your flu shot yet - go do so NOW.
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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 04 2020 at 12:11am
Hong Kong preparing countermeasures with cases there now up to seven.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-04/hong-kong-unveils-response-plan-for-pneumonia-outbreak-in-china?srnd=premium

Technology
Hong Kong Unveils Response Plan for Pneumonia Outbreak in China
By Annie Lee
January 4, 2020, 1:44 AM EST
The government has activated response level to ‘serious’
Total number of suspected cases in Hong Kong reaches seven

Hong Kong unveiled a plan to deal with infectious diseases after a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

The government classified the response level as “serious” -- the second-highest scale of action in its three-tier system with the top-most being emergency, according to a statement from the Department of Health. The current classification estimates the immediate health impact on the local population to be moderate.

The total number of suspected cases in Hong Kong rose to seven, according to Radio Television Hong Kong, citing Sophia Chan, the city’s secretary for food and health. The government has decided to step up the monitoring of the situation, she said.

As of Friday, 44 people have been diagnosed with pneumonia in Wuhan, and the cause is unknown. Hong Kong authorities said thermal imaging systems will be deployed as part of increased fever surveillance at boundary check points.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2020 at 2:16am
Wuhan pneumonia outbreak: Hong Kong government steps up precautionary measures

2 January 2020

Via The Straits Times in Singapore: Wuhan pneumonia outbreak: Hong Kong government steps up precautionary measures after several cases reported. Excerpt:

    HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government has unveiled precautionary measures it has taken in response to an outbreak of pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan, including daily briefings, local media reported.

    On New Year's Eve, officials in Wuhan announced that several clinics and hospitals in the city had received patients suffering from pneumonia and the cause was not known.

    Twenty-seven people were reported by Chinese media to have been infected, with seven of them seriously ill.

    Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said it had notified the government of three cases in which it treated patients for pneumonia symptoms after visiting Wuhan recently, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

    The Authority said a female patient in Tuen Mun Hospital and a male teenager in Tai Po Nethersole Hospital have since been discharged, but a woman is still being treated in Princess Margaret Hospital.

    Health Secretary Sophia Chan told a news briefing late on Thursday (Jan 2) that the three cases are not linked to the mysterious Sars-like disease in Wuhan, because the patients did not visit the seafood market that is believed to be the source of the virus.

    However, she said the government will start giving daily updates on suspected cases it receives from the Hospital Authority, and it is also taking other measures to protect its borders.

    "There are heightened procedures. There are increased procedures - surveillance procedures - that both the Hospital Authority as well as the Department of Health have taken," Ms Chan said.

    From Friday, additional thermal imaging systems will be put in place in the Hong Kong International Airport to check the body temperature of inbound travellers from Wuhan, RTHK reported.

    For all boundary control points including Hong Kong West Kowloon Station of the Express Rail Link, fever patients with acute respiratory symptoms who have visited wet markets or seafood markets in Wuhan within 14 days prior to the onset of the illness will be referred to public hospitals.

    The MTR Corporation, the Airport Authority, and airlines have also been advised to step up disinfection measures for Wuhan services.



Source:   https://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2020/01/wuhan-pneumonia-outbreak-hong-kong-government-steps-up-precautionary-measures.html

Technophobe: Obviously, things have gotten worse in the last 2 days since this was published. (EdwinSm's post} But there were sa couple of points in this article I thought should be reported. This bit is an assumption and may not be correct. If wrong it indicates h2h transmission: Health Secretary Sophia Chan told a news briefing late on Thursday (Jan 2) that the three cases are not linked to the mysterious Sars-like disease in Wuhan, because the patients did not visit the seafood market that is believed to be the source of the virus.

and the increase in precautionary measures is also of interest.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2020 at 8:21am
It would appear that Sars is back. It's about the only one that has not yet been ruled out. Canada and New York airports may want to take precautions and start screening passengers. This outbreak is under the radar and not being covered much, but that's about to change I would suspect. All hell is about to break loose if they announce Sars, unless they contain pretty quick.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2020 at 9:02am
11 patients are in critical condition. From my limited experience, that usually means 11 are about to die. A 25% fatality rate would be a little concerning. Pneumonia is of course treated with antibiotics, but if it's not working, then it would certainly be reminiscent of Sars in 2003.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/alarms-raised-china-pneumonia-outbreak-infects-dozens-200104002802346.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 04 2020 at 1:03pm
Not entirely sure what this is saying here. Is it saying the others infected have Sars? Is it saying that they have Sars test results in? This could be a replay of China's cover-up in 2003. China is already arresting people for talking about it online, lol.

Not sure what to make of this statement:

Health authorities in Hong Kong were on high alert following five cases of patients developing symptoms of respiratory infections and fever after visiting Wuhan, about four hours by train from Hong Kong. Two of the patients have been discharged from the hospital following a full recovery and a third has tested negative for SARS, influenza and avian flu. The government said on Friday evening that two others are awaiting test results.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Society/Asia-on-alert-over-mysterious-virus-outbreak-in-China
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2020 at 1:17pm
I do not know about these tests in the specific. Concerning tests in general: those deemed "preliminary" are somewhat less accurate than "detailed" or "follow-up" tests. But several SARS negative results does suggest it is not the cause.

To my mind this is not necessarily good news. If the d@mn bug tests negative for everything known, then it is (by definition) novel. New infectious diseases are nasty, as we do not have immunities for them yet. (Because those succeptable have not been removed from the gene pool - by extinction of their line.)

Hopefully, this will turn out to be nothing (China's response would be the same either way.) but it does need watching carefully.

I have researched the tests for SARS and they fall into several categories. Antibody tests and serelogical tests for viral RNA seem the main choices. But there is no effective rapid test (at least there was not in 2003 when this report was published:   http://sarsreference.com/sarsref/tests.htm, or this one published in 2004:   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322905/ this later test being on average only 60% accurate.) The accuracy increases day after day from infection onwards and peaks at 11 days in - far too late for China to actually demonstrate a genuine reason to declare the specimens, and by inference the hosts, free of the virus.

To be honest all we can do is watch this space.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2020 at 1:34pm
I am a bit out of date. 85% seems to be the high point since february this year. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6362100/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2020 at 2:49pm
Originally posted by Technophobe Technophobe wrote:


To my mind this is not necessarily good news. If the d@mn bug tests negative for everything known, then it is (by definition) novel.


I agree. Leaning toward a novel zoonotic disease. The question is, and even with limited transmission, can it now be stopped? A tank can move at a slow speed, but it still moves.      
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2020 at 2:49pm
No new, News for 8 hours

Looks like a news blackout.......

Not looking great.....
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