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  • Some 763 people have been put under observation in Wuhan after coming in to close contact with known patients.

    Some 763 people have been put under observation in Wuhan after coming in to close contact with known patients. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 January 2020

The cluster of the novel disease was initially reported on Dec. 31 last year at the Wuhan Seafood Wholesale Market.

Chinese authorities have reported Thursday a second death from the Wuhan pneumonia, a new sars-like coronavirus that has left dozens of people ill in the central city of Wuhan.

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A 69-year-old man, who had fallen ill on Dec. 31, died on Wednesday at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital in Hubei province after a two-week illness that progressed to multi-organ system failure, making him the second person to die from the unknown virus.

The cluster of the novel disease was initially reported on Dec. 31 last year at the Wuhan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been temporarily closed to carry out environmental sanitation and disinfection.

On Sunday, Chinese authorities reported 41 cases, with seven patients in severe condition. The clinical signs and symptoms reported are mainly fever, with a few cases having difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing invasive pneumonic infiltrates in both lungs.

Some 763 people have been put under observation in Wuhan after coming in to close contact with known patients, health authorities said on Thursday.  

It has been identified as a coronavirus, which can cause illnesses ranging from common colds to the potentially deadly Sars that killed more than 700 people around the world in the 2002-03 outbreak. 

There are two cases already reported outside mainland China. The first case was detected in Thailand on Monday, a 61-year-old woman who is in stable condition now; and a Japanese man who had fallen ill after visiting the Chinese city died Thursday. 

In Singapore, a third suspected case was reported on Thursday. The Ministry of Health said a 69-year-old man who traveled to Wuhan has been diagnosed with pneumonia.

While two Chinese tourists with fever symptoms from Wuhan were quarantined by Vietnam's Ministry of Health and are now under observation after in Hanoi on Tuesday.

The World Health Organization said Sunday that China had shared the genetic sequence of the virus, which is of great importance for developing specific diagnostic kits. The organization warned that a wider outbreak is possible.

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