What is the mysterious Chinese virus? World Health Organization has just appeased certain fears

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The World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier warned that the new virus could spread and alerted hospitals worldwide. They say, however, that if human transmission is possible, it appears to be rare.

Today, the World Health Organization said there may have been limited human-to-human transmission of the new virus in China within families, and it is possible there could be a wider outbreak.

Japanese authorities said the man had not visited the market and that it was possible he had been in contact with a person infected with the virus while in Wuhan.

Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, from Hong Kong's Health Protection Center, said there were two family groups among the registered cases in Wuhan, including the man and the woman and a separate case of a father, son, and cousin living together. The last case in China was detected January 3, and the minimum incubation period for some viral infections is 15 days, suggesting that it may be a few more days before authorities can determine the full extent of the illness. Her coronavirus was confirmed Sunday by a laboratory test, Anutin said.

Japan's is the second confirmed Wuhan virus case to be reported outside China, after Thailand confirmed on Monday that a 61-year-old Chinese woman had been hospitalised last week for high fever and breathing difficulties.

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Health officials have been on alert since the pneumonia cases appeared starting December 12 because they reminded people of the early days of the 2003 SARS outbreak, which went on to spread from China to Hong Kong and then to Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Toronto, killing almost 800 people.

And authorities in Wuhan confirmed on Wednesday that a married couple had been amongst 41 folks diagnosed with pneumonia believed to be caused by the new virus. In light of the outbreak, the US State Department issued a health alert for all considering travelling to the region on Wednesday.

The new case in Thailand comes just ahead of a major travel period in China, as hundreds of millions of people prepare to travel for Chinese New Year later this month.

Ahead of the next week's Lunar New Year holiday, in which hundreds of thousands of Chinese are expected to travel domestically and overseas, authorities in Asia have stepped up monitoring at airports.

By early January it had infected 44 people in China and 15 in Hong Kong. A person has also died due to this.

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