Second person dies from SARS-type virus in China


Thailand has found a second case of a new Chinese coronavirus, authorities said on Friday as they ramped up checks on Chinese visitors, almost a million of whom are expected for Lunar New Year holidays next week.

The Wuhan health commission said 12 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital, while five others were in serious condition. He was admitted with abnormal kidney function, pulmonary tuberculosis and damage to several organ functions, it said.

China's Wuhan has reported 41 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and one linked death.

The advisory also said: "All travellers to China, Wuhan city in particular, to monitor their health closely".

Health authorities in Thailand and Japan have each identified infected patients as well.

The third case, reported on Thursday, was a 69-year-old Singaporean man who travelled to Wuhan but did not visit the seafood wholesale market.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold; others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.

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"They all have Wuhan pneumonia cases but (in China) we don't have any infections outside of Wuhan - is that scientific?"

"The Government of India is regularly reviewing the public health preparedness in the country since the news broke", a health ministry statement said. And now, the Health Ministry of Japan has confirmed its first case of the disease after a man in his 30s was diagnosed with the same virus.

Acting head of the WHO's emerging diseases unit Maria Van Kerkhove said: "From the information that we have it is possible that there is limited human-to-human transmission, potentially among families, but it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission".

Authorities in Wuhan said a seafood market was the centre of the outbreak. The list includes Thailand and Japan, which both have reported cases of the disease in people who had come from Wuhan. He is now in a stable condition, the ministry said.

Since then, Japan reported its first case of the infection on Thursday after a Japanese man returned from visiting Wuhan.

A potential pandemic of the novel virus, reminiscent of the 2003 epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, would deal a blow to China's tourism and retail industries, further hampering the nation's economic growth, analysts said. Less than a week later, a 26-year-old Chinese man was warded and isolated on Jan 10 after travelling to Wuhan. But he said they are more concerned about the labs of those countries where the transportation is not easy to send the samples.

"The fact that some cases do not seem to be linked with the Huanan seafood market means we can not exclude the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission", World Health Organization said in a tweet earlier this week.