Health

Wuhan pneumonia may spread from human to human

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Rewat Areerob assistant secretary to Deputy Public Healh Minister Sathit Pitutecha left is briefed by Phuket public health officials about the coronavirus screening of people arriving in Thailand via Phuket international airport from Wuhan China. (Pho

CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) on Monday said that the World Health Organization did not name the virus after Wuhan or China, as previous practices of naming diseases after places, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, were protested by the affected countries.

The origin of the virus has been traced to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where it affected several dozen people who had been to a major meat and seafood market.

The procedures comes days after a Chinese woman was quarantined in Thailand with the mystery strain of the coronavirus, in the first instance of its detection outside of China.

The threat of human-to-human transmission remains low, she said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected individuals and have not been infected themselves.

Wong Ka-hing, the Controller of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health holds a Wuhan Municipal Health Commission press statement of the new type of coronavirus, during a press conference at the Health Department in Hong Kong, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020.

About 70% of the 41 cases had visited or worked in the Huanan Seafood Market, while the remaining 30% were unsure if they had visited had not been to the wet market, she said.

The health commission also said no new patients have been infected since December 29, 2019, and seven have since been released from the hospital.

China's local health authorities say limited human-to-human infections of a mysterious pneumonia can not be ruled out, citing a case involving a couple.

It is possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, said a Hong Kong health official. None have yet been diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

Chan added that the current preventive measures in Hong Kong, including temperature checks on incoming tourists, were on the right track. A new case, however, has appeared in a woman who never visited the market, indicating she may have been infected directly from someone who was already ill.

A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday.

"From the information that we have it is possible that there is limited human-to-human transmission", Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO's emerging diseases unit, told reporters in Geneva.

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