Pneumonia Outbreak in China Continue to Increase

  • The Wuhan Health and Medical Commission reported that 27 cases had been found, of which seven were in serious condition.
  • Professor Wang Yuedan says it is difficult to determine whether the virus has mutated.
  • Airports throughout the region are screening their passengers for temperature.

The Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Committee, the capital of Hubei Province, China, issued a notice on Friday. As of January 3, a total of 44 patients with an unexplained diagnosis of viral pneumonia were found. Among them, 11 were severe cases, and the signs of the remaining patients were generally stable.

Viral pneumonia is a pneumonia caused by a virus. Viruses are one of the two major causes of pneumonia, the other being bacteria; less common causes are fungi and parasites.

Three days ago, the Wuhan Health and Medical Commission reported that 27 cases had been found, of which seven were in serious condition, and the remaining cases were stable and controllable. Two cases were expected to be discharged in the near future. The latest report introduced that the clinical manifestations of the cases were mainly fever. A few patients had difficulty breathing, and the chest radiograph showed invasive lesions of both lungs. At present, all cases are receiving isolation treatment in Wuhan medical institutions. Authorities have tracked 121 close contacts, and medical observations have been tracked. The follow-up of close contacts is still in progress.

The report added that an epidemiological investigation showed that some cases were operating households in Wuhan South China Seafood City. As of now, preliminary investigations have shown that there is no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission, and no medical staff infection. The Wuhan Health Commission also emphasized that pathogen identification and cause tracing are ongoing, and the possibility of common respiratory diseases, such as influenza, bird flu, and adenovirus infection has been ruled out.

Radio Television Hong Kong quoted Wang Yuedan, a professor of the Department of Immunology at the School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Medical College, as saying on Thursday that it is difficult to determine whether the virus has mutated. However, from multiple cases and symptoms of viral pneumonia, the virus’s virulence is likely to increase. Wang Yuedan analyzed that the patient may have contacted wild animals and became infected with the virus, and the possibility of human-to-human transmission cannot be completely ruled out. He estimated that this time the possibility of the SARS virus is not high, but it may be other types of coronavirus.

Regarding the fact that the authorities have not yet announced the test results, Wang Yuedan guessed that there would usually be test results of the virus sequence within one day. This time, however, there were a large number of patients, and it was difficult to sample pneumonia. In addition, the authorities have mistakenly announced the pathogen of SARS as chlamydia.

Although the number of cases increased by 17 within 3 days, Xu Shuchang, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Respiratory Studies Professor, believed that the proportion of severe cases remained at 1 in every 4 cases, and the overall severity did not increase. As far as the virus transmission is concerned, Xu Shuchang said that no one has died for the time being, and no sign of human-to-human transmission is relatively good news.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No cases of SARS have been reported worldwide since 2004.

In the face of unidentified pneumonia cases in Wuhan, Taiwan’s CDC announced a response strategy last month. Taoyuan Airport also launched contingency measures for border quarantine and informed the inbound passengers with an electronic signboard to pay attention to their own health status.

The Macau Health Bureau announced on the 1st that it would strengthen quarantine measures for flights from Wuhan at the Macau International Airport, requiring each passenger to be screened for temperature. Li Zhanrun, director of the Macao Health Bureau, pointed out that viral pneumonia is a common disease in winter.

Hong Kong Food and Health Secretary Chen Zhaoshi said at a press conference on the evening of January 2 that Hong Kong has not found any severe pneumonia cases related to Wuhan, but the government has strengthened health surveillance at entry and exit ports in response to public concerns and increased transparency. Beginning on the 3rd of the month, the government will publish daily figures for pneumonia under enhanced surveillance.

According to news sources, passengers who arrived by air from Wuhan, China to Singapore had to take a temperature test when they arrived at Changi Airport to prevent the local pneumonia epidemic from reaching the local area. The country’s Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation and has taken a series of precautionary measures.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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