The death toll rose to 17 because of a new mysterious SARS-like virus that has infected many people in China. The official emphasized people to avoid epicenter city, Wuhan which is the capital of Hubei province. The alarming situation is caused by the coronavirus due to its resemblance to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which has killed around 650 individuals in 2002-2003 in Hong Kong and mainland China.
As millions of travelers going across China for the New Year eve, the National Health Commission of China has announced safety measures to control the disease which includes sterilization and ventilation at bus stops and airports also inside the trains and planes.
In the epicenter city, different public activities and events were canceled and the location of international matches was changed. Visitors were requested to stay distant and the resident was urged to stay in the central city where 11 million people reside.
The health commissioner, Li Bin said that the virus is transmitted through the respiratory tract where the viral mutation occurs and the possibility of further disease spread increases. More than 500 cases have been reported recently in Wuhan and provincial officials said that the virus has infected almost 444 individuals in Hubei alone and the death toll has jumped from 9 to 17.
Cases have also been reported by the major cities which include Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai as well as some provinces in central, southern and northeastern China.
The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting to decide whether to declare public health emergency over the disease globally. The disease has also been detected in Taiwan, Thailand, United States, South Korea, Macau, and the United States.
The government has recently classified this outbreak in the same category as that of the SARS epidemic which demands compulsory isolation of patients who are diagnosed with the virus and to implement the quarantine measures.
Experts are making efforts to identify the transmission and the exact source of this virus. Countries have implemented strict measures to control the spread of the virus which is known by the technical name, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV)
Passengers have to go through strict screening measures at five airports of the United States and a host of transport cores across Asia. Italy and Britain have recently announced the enhanced monitoring of travelers from China. The experts from the National Health Commission confirmed human to human transmission of this deadly virus. However, the primary source of this virus is suspected to be animals. An animal market in Wuhan is considered to be the epicenter of this disease.
The director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that they know the origin of the disease which is the market conducting the illegal business of wild animals. He said the virus is mutating and adapting. Scientists estimated that nearly between 1300 to 1700 individuals have been infected with this virus in Wuhan.
Health authorities are advising people to avoid crowded areas, wash hands properly, gets fresh air and wear a mask in case of cough. Anyone with a fever or cough is urged to visit the hospital. City authorities made masks mandatory in public places.