Viral outbreak in China

This item appears on page 18 of the March 2020 issue.
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In China, an outbreak of a newly identified viral respiratory disease had infected more than 17,000 people as of press time, 361 of whom had died. The virus is a coronavirus, in the same family as the agent that causes the disease called SARS, which killed more than 700 people, mostly in China, during 2002-2003. While there is some evidence that the virus can be transmitted by people who are asymptomatic, this has not yet been confirmed. **

Outside of China, 150 cases of the coronavirus had been identified in 24 countries, including the US. One person in the Philippines had died due to the virus. Most of those infected had recently returned from Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei Province, where the disease is believed to have originated, but human-to-human infection had also occurred outside of China.

The World Health Organization declared the disease to be a global emergency. The US Department of State upgraded its Travel Advisory for Hubei Province to Level 4, “Do Not Travel.”

In the US, a 14-day quarantine was instituted for all travelers arriving from Hubei Province, and the Centers for Disease Control were screening incoming passengers at 20 international airports, including in Atlanta, Washington (Dulles), New York (JFK), Chicago (O’Hare), San Francisco and Los Angeles.

United, American and Delta airlines had suspended flights to China for the time being. Many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean International, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, canceled port stops in China on upcoming cruises.

In China, in order to stem the rate of infection, the government quarantined multiple cities, over 18 million people, and canceled many Chinese New Year festivities.

** Editor's note: In an earlier version of this story, ITN reported that it had been confirmed that this new virus could be transmitted between people, even those who are asymptomatic. While there is some evidence that the virus can be transmitted by people who are asymptomatic, this has not yet been confirmed. ITN regrets the error.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

In China, an outbreak of a newly identified viral respiratory disease had infected more than 17,000 people as of press time, 361 of whom had died. The virus is a coronavirus, in the same family as the agent that causes the disease called SARS, which killed more than 700 people, mostly in China, during 2002-2003. While there is some evidence that the virus can be transmitted by people who are asymptomatic, this has not yet been confirmed. **

Outside of China, 150 cases of the coronavirus had been identified in 24 countries, including the US. One person in the Philippines had died due to the virus. Most of those infected had recently returned from Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei Province, where the disease is believed to have originated, but human-to-human infection had also occurred outside of China.

The World Health Organization declared the disease to be a global emergency. The US Department of State upgraded its Travel Advisory for Hubei Province to Level 4, “Do Not Travel.”

In the US, a 14-day quarantine was instituted for all travelers arriving from Hubei Province, and the Centers for Disease Control were screening incoming passengers at 20 international airports, including in Atlanta, Washington (Dulles), New York (JFK), Chicago (O’Hare), San Francisco and Los Angeles.

United, American and Delta airlines had suspended flights to China for the time being. Many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean International, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, canceled port stops in China on upcoming cruises.

In China, in order to stem the rate of infection, the government quarantined multiple cities, over 18 million people, and canceled many Chinese New Year festivities.

** Editor's note: In an earlier version of this story, ITN reported that it had been confirmed that this new virus could be transmitted between people, even those who are asymptomatic. While there is some evidence that the virus can be transmitted by people who are asymptomatic, this has not yet been confirmed. ITN regrets the error.