Everything you need to know about coronavirus spreading from China

Wuhan hospital staff in protective gear, where patients were treated.

Recently, a new coronavirus causing a mysterious illness similar to SARS has spread to China and three other Asian countries since its first appearance in the central city of Wuhan. Initially, the authorities excluded human-to-human transmission, but according to the latest news and following the report of several deaths, it turns out that the virus can indeed be transmitted between humans.

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was alerted by the Chinese authorities to a series of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, a city of 11 million inhabitants. The patients had been quarantined and research into identifying the origin of the pneumonia had started.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States had identified the potential origin of the virus: a seafood market in Huanan (Wuhan), China.

New coronavirus

On January 9, WHO said the Wuhan epidemic was caused by an unknown type of coronavirus , responsible for a wide range of illnesses, from colds to more serious conditions like SARS. The new coronavirus is currently called “Wuhan coronavirus”, or 2019-nCoV.

According to an official report, to date, 59 people have been infected, including seven who are in serious condition.

First Death

Chinese health officials said a first patient died of the virus on January 11. Shortly thereafter, the total number of patients was revised downwards to 41 cases.

Spread beyond China

On January 13, the virus spread beyond the borders of China for the first time, with a case emerging in Thailand, according to the WHO. The victim is a Chinese woman suffering from mild pneumonia, who was returning from a trip to Wuhan.

On January 15, the Chinese health commission said that no human-to-human transmission of the virus that caused the Wuhan epidemic had been confirmed, but that the possibility "could not be excluded."

The following day, a first case of virus was confirmed in Japan, in a person who had stayed in Wuhan in early January.

American controls

On January 17, a second victim, a 69-year-old man, died in Wuhan, authorities said.

On the same day, the CDC announced that it would start screening passengers from Wuhan at three airports: San Francisco, JFK (New York) and Los Angeles.

Confirmation of human-to-human transmission

On January 20, a third death and more than 100 new cases are announced in China, causing concern before the annual Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year) vacation, which begins on January 25 and sees hundreds of millions of Chinese traveling Across the country.

The virus is present in Beijing to the north, east of Shanghai and south of Shenzhen. More than 200 cases have been recorded. The virus has also been detected in South Korea in a Chinese man arriving by plane from Wuhan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said during his first public comments on the epidemic that the virus must be "resolutely contained". Human-to-human transmission is "affirmative," Zhong Nanshan told state-run CCTV, a Chinese infectious disease specialist, on public television.

First case in the United States

The first case in the United States was reported a few days ago. It concerns a person in Washington State, near Seattle. The patient was hospitalized last week after a recent trip to Wuhan.

This article will be updated regularly.

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