Virus Warning! China Warns As SARS Epidemic Death Rise; Must Know These Protective Measures
China has made a warning that a SARS-like virus that has killed nine people, infected hundreds and spread to other countries could spread. The Chinese government has classified the outbreak same as the SARS epidemic, meaning compulsory isolation for those diagnosed with the illness and the potential to implement quarantine measures on travel.
China has warned that a SARS-like virus that has killed nine people, infected hundreds and spread to other countries could mutate, as authorities scrambled to contain the disease during the Lunar New Year travel season.
The new corona virus has caused alarm for its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed around 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The illness is transmitted by the respiratory tract and there "is the possibility of viral mutation and further spread of the disease," National Health Commission Vice minister Li Bin stated at a news conference in Beijing.
The World Health Organization or WHO was to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to determine whether to declare a rare global public health emergency over the disease, which has also been detected in the United States, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
The Chinese government has classified the outbreak in the exact category as the SARS epidemic, which means compulsory isolation for those diagnosed with the illness and the potential to implement quarantine measures on travel.
But they still have not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus, which has infected 440 people in 13 provinces and municipalities.
Li said, "We will step up research efforts to identify the source and transmission of the disease." A prominent expert from China's National Health Commission confirmed this week that the virus can be passed between people.
Though, animals are suspected to be the primary source of the outbreak, as a seafood market where live animals were sold in the central city of Wuhan was identified as ground zero for the virus.
Countries have been taking efforts to stop the spread of the pathogen which is known by its technical name 2019 Novel Corona virus (2019-nCoV). Due to the number of cases jumped, raising concerns in the middle of a major Chinese holiday travel rush.
This week, China celebrates the Lunar New Year, the most important event in the Chinese calendar with millions of people travelling across the country to celebrate with family.
What are the containment measures taken by the commission?
• On Wednesday, the commission announced measures to contain the disease, which includes disinfection and ventilation at airports, train stations and shopping centres.
• The commission stated, "When needed, temperature checks will also be implemented in key areas at crowded places." At the same time, Wuhan has urged people to stay away in a bid to contain its spread.
• Police conducted spot checks for live poultry or wild animals in vehicles leaving and entering the city, as per sources of state media.
• Public activities by the local government are cancelled during the holiday, including the annual prayer-giving at the city's Guiyan Temple.
• Tour groups heading out of the city are also cancelled.