Arrival of SARS-like new virus in United States heightens concerns about global spread

Science | AAAS | 1/21/2020 | Staff
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It’s hard to keep up with the outbreak of the new coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan last month, but one thing seems increasingly clear: The virus isn’t going away anytime soon. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just reported the first case in the United States, a patient who returned from Wuhan on 15 January and sought treatment in Washington after developing symptoms. Taiwan also confirmed its first infection today, and a boy in the Philippines reportedly tested positive for the virus. (Thailand, Japan, and South Korea have all previously reported cases.) The total number of confirmed cases again shot up today, to more than 300, including six deaths.

Meanwhile, a panel of Chinese health experts confirmed yesterday what many scientists suspected or feared for a while: The new virus is able to spread between people, which means it could be a lot harder to control. The panel also said health care workers have become infected.

Spread - Fears - Rerun - Respiratory - Episode

The rapid spread heightened fears of a rerun of the severe acute respiratory syndrome episode in 2003, when a related coronavirus spread from China to more than 30 countries. “This outbreak is extremely concerning,” Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, said in a statement today. “The urgent focus must be on evidence-based interventions. We do not have proven treatments or vaccines,” says Farrar, who added that the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which Wellcome supports, is “working with global partners to accelerate vaccine research for this new virus.”

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Health - Authorities - Cases - Disease - Beijing

Chinese health authorities have now confirmed cases of the new disease in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and other cities around the country, some far beyond the central inland city of Wuhan. This trend could foretell a wider dispersion of the virus during the upcoming Lunar New Year...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Science | AAAS
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