Health authorities in Wuhan confirmed 17 new cases of deadly novel coronavirus on Sunday morning.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announced the new cases in a notice on their official website, among them are 12 men and five women ranging from 30 to 79 years old. Three of the infected individuals are reported to be critically ill while the rest are in stable condition.
Since the outbreak, two deaths from the newly discovered coronavirus have been reported by the Wuhan health commission – both were men above the age of 60.
The commission notes that the latest cases occurred prior to January 13, with symptoms including fever and coughing. Fifteen of the patients have been transported to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital to undergo treatment, while two critically ill patients have yet to be transported due to their poor condition. Epidemiological investigations are being carried out for the 17 new cases, and close contacts are being traced.
As Spring Festival quickly approaches and millions commute all over the country in time for the holiday, Wuhan authorities are continuing to expand their search for suspected cases, the notice says.
Some previously reported cases of the virus had no exposure to the Wuhan seafood market that the outbreak has been linked to, China Daily reports.
On January 17, a report by Imperial College London’s MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis estimated that there are a total of 1,723 novel coronavirus cases in Wuhan, basing the calculation off assumptions made on the detection window of the virus and Wuhan airport’s catchment population, among other factors. Although the analysis doesn’t directly address transmission routes of the virus, it does suggest that human-to-human transmission shouldn’t be ruled out. However, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said that no evidence that the virus can be transmitted between humans was found in a preliminary investigation.
As of Friday, 62 cases have been reported in Hubei’s capital city. Among the 763 close contacts who were placed under medical observation, 681 have been released, with no new cases found among the group, according to China Daily.
Cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Japan and Thailand – both affected patients had returned from trips to Wuhan. Meanwhile, three suspected cases of the disease have been identified in Shenzhen and Shanghai, South China Morning Post reports.
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[Cover image via Pixabay]