The illness has been identified as a new strain ofcoronavirus, which is in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratorysyndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Most people withthe infection are believed to have contracted it through exposure to animals ata market that sells seafood and meat in Wuhan.
ChineseMinistry of Foreign Affairs has said that the health commissions in China havebeen notifying people of the latest development and China has been activelynotifying the WHO and other relevant international organisations and countries ofthe infection cases.
China will continue to stay in contact withrelevant countries where cases have been detected.
Wuhan airport authorities have set up a temperature monitoring point at the entrance of Terminal 3 to check the temperature of allpassengers entering the terminal so that travel of arrested persons may beaverted. The illness was first reported inlate December in Wuhan, in central China.
Fears of a more widespread outbreakarose when two cases were found in Thailand and one in Japan, apparently carried to those countries by air travelers from Wuhan.
The disease has putcountries across the world on alert ahead of a tourist inflow from China duringupcoming Chinese Lunar New Year holidays starting next week. US authorities announced they would begin screening passengers from today arriving from Wuhanon direct or connecting flights at three airports:
San Francisco, New York’s JFK and Los Angeles. Authorities in Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines have all stepped up screening.It is not certain that the virus spreads from personto person.
Symptoms of corona viruses can range from fever and coughing to pneumoniawith severe effects. A different corona virus caused the SARS outbreak in China in 2003 which killed nearly 800people and also MERS,another severe respiratory ailment that has been present in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries since 2012.