Mysterious viral pneumonia infects dozens in China


Officials are reportedly scrambling to find the cause of a viral pneumonia spreading in China that has so far sickened 59 people.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that health alerts have been issued in the Chinese city of Wuhan, while the World Health Organization (WHO) has described the disease as a “pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause).”

“National authorities report that all patients are isolated and receiving treatment in Wuhan medical institutions. The clinical signs and symptoms are mainly fever, with a few patients having difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing invasive lesions of both lungs,” the WHO reported.

While causes are still being investigated, the WHO report went on to suggest that contact with animals may have been involved in transmission.

“According to the authorities, some patients were operating dealers or vendors in the Huanan Seafood market. Based on the preliminary information from the Chinese investigation team, no evidence of significant human-to-human transmission and no health care worker infections have been reported,” read the WHO report.

“The reported link to a wholesale fish and live animal market could indicate an exposure link to animals,” it continued.

Officials in neighboring Singapore are reportedly screening incoming travelers from Wuhan, according to the Journal, and in Hong Kong officials raised an alert level to “serious” over the outbreak.

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