Outbreak of Viral Pneumonia in Wuhan:

What you need to know

What we know about the virus 

  • The China National Health Commission has confirmed that the cause of the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan is due to a newly emerging strain of Coronavirus (CoV).
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS or SARS.
  • They are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. The World Health Organisation announced that the risk of human-to-human transmission is low
  • This CoV strain has an 80% similarity to the SARS virus, but related symptoms appear to be less severe. 
  • Common symptoms of CoV include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Key facts

  • The Wuhan Health Commission has confirmed that 198 people have been infected with the new virus*. 
  • 28 of them have recovered. 170 are still hospitalised, with 126 having mild illness, 35 being listed as severe and 9 being in critical condition. 3 deaths have been reported. 
  • The virus has been reported for the first time in mainland China outside Wuhan (2 cases in Beijing and one in Shenzhen), Thailand (2 cases) and Japan (one case). 

Situation in Hong Kong 

  • There are no confirmed cases of the infection in Hong Kong**.
  • Among the 81 suspected cases, 75 have been discharged**.
  • None has tested positive for the virus so far.

Recommendation by the WHO 

  • WHO has not recommended any specific measures for travellers to Wuhan (read more).
  • Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs (read more).
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