China has recorded more than 139 new cases of a mysterious virus in the past two days, after spreading from Wuhan to other cities.
The Chinese capital, Beijing, reported two cases, while the Southern Technology Center of Shenzhen reported a suspected case.
Thus, the total number of confirmed cases now exceeds 200, three of which have died from a respiratory illness.
The sharp rise in the number of casualties comes as millions of Chinese prepare for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Health officials were able to identify the cause of the disease, which first appeared in Wuhan in December, as a strain of the Corona virus, which led to an outbreak of viral pneumonia, but there are still many unknowns about the virus, including That’s how it spreads.
South Korea reported its first confirmed case on Monday, after cases were registered in Thailand and Japan.
The outbreak has brought back memories of the SARS virus, which killed 774 people in the early 2000s in dozens of countries, mostly in Asia.
Genetic code analysis of the new virus shows that it is closely related to the SARS virus.
British experts told the BBC that the number of injured may be much greater than official figures indicate, and it is estimated that the number is approaching 1700 cases.
What do we know about the virus?
According to the World Health Organization, what we know about the Corona virus currently circulating in China is as follows:
What is known and understood so far is that the virus is a new strain of the Corona virus that was not previously detected in humans.
- A mysterious virus raises concern in China
- About Corona Virus
Corona viruses consist of a wide family of viruses, but only six of them are known to infect humans, and the new virus will be the seventh.
Scientists believe that “the main source of the virus is probably animal,” but human-to-human transmission cases have been recorded.
Symptoms of infection include respiratory infections, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
People are advised to avoid approaching live animals without taking the necessary measures, and it is strictly forbidden to eat meat and eggs, in addition to avoiding mixing with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
Areas where the virus is spreading?
The authorities in Wuhan, a city in central China with a population of 11 million, said that the total confirmed cases of HIV in the city during the weekend amounted to 136 cases, and three cases were infected with the virus.
In total, approximately 200 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the city alone. Officials said, late on Sunday evening, that 170 people in the city were still receiving treatment in hospital, including nine in critical condition.
Beijing Daxing District Health Bureau officials said two people had been treated for HIV-associated pneumonia who had traveled to Wuhan.
In Shenzhen, officials said, the symptoms of the virus appeared on a 66-year-old man after a trip in which his relatives visited Wuhan. It also quarantined eight others in Shenzhen and were being monitored to determine whether they were HIV positive.
The virus has also spread outside China. Two cases were confirmed in Thailand and one in Japan, all of which were related to or were visiting from the city of Wuhan.
In South Korea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a 35-year-old Chinese woman had fever and respiratory problems after she came from Wuhan.
She was isolated from the rest of the patients and treated at a local hospital.
The World Health Organization said it does not currently recommend imposing travel or trade restrictions with China, but it does provide guidance to countries where the disease is expected to spread.
Both Singapore and Hong Kong have begun screening air travelers from Wuhan, and the US authorities announced similar measures that started on Friday at three major airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
What do the Chinese authorities say?
The Chinese National Health Committee said on Sunday that “prevention and control of the virus is still possible,” while warning that there is a need for close monitoring of the virus, as its source, transmission and mutations are still unknown.
- Chinese Corona Virus “still preventable and controllable”
The commission said it had not recorded human infections, and that the infections that the virus had spread came from infected animals at a fish, marine and wildlife market in Wuhan.
But the World Health Organization said it believed there were “some infections and transmission from person to person in cases of direct contact.”
“With the increase in confirmed cases and more analysis of the virus, we will get a clearer picture of the severity of the disease and its transmission patterns,” the organization said in a tweet on Twitter.
She pointed out that the increase in cases of infection in China was the result of “increasing analysis and searching for the virus among people with respiratory diseases.”
How will infection with the virus affect Chinese New Year celebrations?
On Friday, most Chinese will begin their week-long Lunar New Year (Chinese) holiday.
Hundreds of millions of Chinese travel this week around China to visit their families, raising concerns that the authorities will not be able to properly monitor the spread of the disease.
Since Wuhan is an important center of transportation, the authorities there began nearly a week ago to use temperature scanners at airports, train stations and buses. Those who had symptoms of fever were registered, given protective masks, and then transferred to hospitals and clinics.
The authorities say they will now screen every person who leaves the city.
Some travelers wore masks at the Beijing Central Railway Station, but did not seem to be overly concerned about the virus.
“When I watch the news, I feel some anxiety. But I have not taken any preventive measures beyond wearing regular masks,” Li Yang, 28, who works as an account manager while traveling to the Inner Mongolia region, told media.