Seventeen new cases of mystery virus reported in China

Seventeen new cases of mystery virus reported in China
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Seventeen more people in China have contracted a new coronavirus strain, officials said Sunday, according to Reuters.

The city of Wuhan’s health commission reportedly added that three patients are in serious condition and two have died. Wuhan, where all 62 of the cases in China have occurred, has provided running updates on new cases of the virus since Jan. 11, Reuters noted, adding that the  17 new cases are the most reported at one time.

Two people were also diagnosed in Thailand, one of whom has recovered, and one case was reported in Japan. All of those patients had travelled from Wuhan, according to the news service.

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As a result, the city will reportedly restrict the number of large-scale gatherings ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year festivities.

The center of the virus was initially believed to be the Huanan Seafood Market, but the Thai and Japanese cases indicate potential further spread of the virus, according to David Hui, a professor of respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“The fact that three cases have been exported to Thailand and Japan without connection to the Huanan Seafood Market suggests that the virus has spread beyond the Huanan Seafood Market into the community,” Hui told Reuters.

The World Health Organization last Tuesday confirmed that at least one case appeared to have originated somewhere other than the market.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Friday announced that it would begin airport screenings for potential cases of the virus and deploy 100 additional staffers to San Francisco and Los Angeles international airports as well as New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, which receive most U.S.-bound travelers from Wuhan.