Hong Kong (CNN) Officials in China are rushing to embrace the outbreak of a new unique virus that has left at least nine people dead and disgusted more than 440 after it was established the infection could be passed between humans.
The range of the respiratory virus to Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and now the United States is fueling fears of a broader epidemic, as China starts its most bustling travel period of the year.
Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first discovered, published a series of new measures Tuesday, including the removal of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, which had been required to attract hundreds of thousands of people.
Tour companies have been prevented from taking groups out of Wuhan, and the number of thermal directors and screening areas in public spaces will be built. Traffic police will also lead spot checks on private transportations coming in and out of the city to look for live poultry or wild animals, after the virus was connected to seafood and live animal market, according to a statement by state media outlet the People’s Daily, citing Wuhan’s Municipal Health Commission.
The latest standards come after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered: “resolute attempts to control the spread” of the virus Monday.
There are present fears. Nevertheless, that attempts to contain it are coming too late, embarrassed by a slow-moving Chinese bureaucracy that disappointed to put adequate measures in place in time.
In the coming days, hundreds of millions of Chinese are required to begin traveling across the country and overseas as the annual Lunar New Year break gets fully underway, increasing concerns of a further spike in cases.
Though viruses were first identified in Wuhan in mid-December, infrared temperature screening areas were not established in the city’s airports and stations until January 14, according to state media.
More than 440 examples of the illness have been established across China, with the majority in Wuhan itself, but also as far afield as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong province, near Hong Kong.
Around a month after the virus was first recognized in Wuhan, it has already spread well beyond land China.
In Asia, events have been detected in Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan. At the same time, authorities in the US established their first case on Tuesday, and there have been reports of potential situations in Australia.
In spite of initial statements that the virus was unlikely to spread between humans, Chinese health authorities have now said there is “unquestionably human-to-human transmission.” One sufferer is thought to have affected as many as 14 medical staff in one hospital, suggesting the virus can be spread far more swiftly than previously thought.
The specter of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which hit more than 8,000 people and killed 774 in a pandemic that ripped through Asia in 2002 and 2003, has loomed large over the study of the current virus.
During the SARS outbreak, Chinese officials initially downplayed the dangers and restricted coverage, preventing people from realizing the cruelty of the virus and taking action in time to stop its spread.
Zhong Nanshan, an expert with China’s National Health Commission who is studying the Wuhan virus, told state media Monday that while it is not as dangerous as SARS, the number of people with the illness was “rising” and suggested that the “death rate at the moment is not so typical.”
Even before cases were identified in other countries, the efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus were worldwide. Wuhan alone has connections to dozens of abroad destinations, and Beijing and Shanghai have hundreds more.
Airports across Asia have moved up temperature screening of incoming passengers, as have several hubs in the US with connections to Wuhan, including New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
With all indications that the virus has a relatively slow incubation time, however, these efforts may be insufficient to stop its spread.
“You cannot prevent entry into the country of a disease like this. The incubation period is probably a week,” Australia’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said Tuesday. “It’s about identifying those with high risk and making sure people with a high risk know about it and know how to get medical attention.”
He said that while there was no cause for immediate alarm, the actual number of cases was likely far higher than currently reported and urged people to be vigilant about potential symptoms.
Australian authorities on Tuesday quarantined a man in Brisbane who had returned from Wuhan with possible symptoms of the coronavirus. He will remain in isolation until his symptoms have resolved, Queensland Health authorities announced.
Raising companies about how difficult it is to detect those with the virus, even if they have some symptoms, a sufferer in South Korea told physicians there she had produced a fever and muscle pains on Saturday and was prescribed cold medicine by a doctor in Wuhan, before being sent on her way. She was later approved to have the coronavirus during a check-in Seoul.
To Sum Up
Nowadays, there is no vaccination against the Chinese virus existing, therefore there are several common precautions such as taking vitamins, avoid visiting public places a lot, and omit to communicate with people being ill with flu or influenza. Let’s save ourselves together!