Health January 22, 2020
Global fears rise around new coronavirus

By News - World Healthcare Journal

Global health authorities are stepping up precautions against the new coronavirus as Chinese authorities confirm that person-to-person transmission has occurred.

After Imperial College London updated their approximation of the number of infections to be more than 4000, Public Health England has upgraded the threat-level of the coronavirus, with planes arriving from Wuhan to be screened for possible cases.

As the epidemic spreads across the globe, with confirmed diagnoses in the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, the World Health Organisation is now expected to issue a public health emergency for the virus to prevent the disease becoming an international crisis.

Chinese officials have recorded a total of 471 cases of the new virus throughout the nation. The global death toll has risen to nine, most of whom were aged 60 or older with a previous medical history.

China has also enforced ‘Class A’ countermeasures, which are usually enacted to combat serious outbreaks of highly infectious disease such as plague and cholera, which gives officials the power to isolate infected areas and forcibly quarantine patients if necessary.

Airport authorities in India, Singapore, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan are also taking preventative screening measures for tourists arriving from Wuhan, with North Korea banning all visitors from the Wuhan province entirely.

The novel coronavirus is part of the same disease family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The new virus has not yet displayed death rates like MERS and SARS – which killed 774 throughout Asia in a pandemic during the early 2000s – however, fears that the disease may mutate and the large lack of information about the new disease is putting health authorities on high alert.

The authorities in Wuhan stated that a seafood market was the epicentre of the outbreak, and preventative measures were taken to stop the spread of the virus, closing the market on January 1st.

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