Hospitals ordered to prepare for cases of fatal viruses in China

The UK hospital has been told to prepare for cases of a mysterious virus that has caused death in China.

Forty-one people in Wuhan City have received a preliminary diagnosis of a new coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases with a single death.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now told hospitals around the world to prepare for cases outside of China.

A 61-year-old man with serious underlying conditions died on Saturday of the coronavirus. Now a case has been detected in Thailand.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most patients had worked or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, a woman may have contracted her husband’s virus, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

The commission said the husband, who got sick first, worked in the wholesale seafood market in Huanan. Meanwhile, the wife said she has not had any exposure to the market.

It is possible that the husband brought home food from the market that later infected his wife, a Hong Kong health official said. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it is also possible that she has infected her.

Chuang Shuk-kwan and other Hong Kong health officials spoke after a trip to Wuhan, where the Chinese mainland authorities informed them about the outbreak.

The threat of transmission from person to person remains low, he said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected people and have not been infected.

He echoed the claim of the Wuhan authorities that there is no definitive evidence of transmission from person to person.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the spectrum of Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Sars is a type of coronavirus that first hit southern China in late 2002. It then spread to more than two dozen countries, killing almost 800 people.


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