'Wuhan pneumonia' spreading across China and beyond its borders
Updated: 2020-01-21 16:38:10 KST
Since it was first detected in December, the total number of confirmed cases of the pneumonia-like virus in China has risen to 2-hundred-91 as of Tuesday.
In the city of Wuhan, the origin of the virus, over 2-hundred-70 people have been infected and six have died.
Among the infected are 15 medical doctors who've been treating the patients, and one of the doctors is in critical condition.
And hundreds of kilometers away, in other parts of China, five cases have been confirmed in Beijing, two in Shanghai, and one in Dalian.
In Guangdong Province, there are 14 patients, two of whom have not been to Wuhan.
Members of their families, however, have been.
Based on these cases and others, the government officially said on Monday that the virus can be transmitted through human contact.
"The second characteristic is that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed."
But concerns are growing worldwide as the virus spreads beyond China's borders.
There are two confirmed cases in Thailand and one in Japan, all of which involve people who've been to Wuhan.
And the first case of the new coronavirus may have reached Australia, with health authorities in Queensland confirming a suspected case on Tuesday.
"We've got one gentleman that we're just following at the moment who has travelled to Wuhan and has developed a respiratory illness. He's recovering at home so we've done some tests on him and we're awaiting results."
Against this backdrop, countries are stepping up their containment efforts by enhancing scrutiny at airports, especially with millions of Chinese set to travel overseas during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
And tomorrow, the World Health Organization will convene an emergency meeting in Geneva to address the outbreak and decide whether to classify this as a state of international emergency.