Eight Chinese patients afflicted by unidentified Wuhan virus released from hospital

Grant Boone
January 9, 2020

More than 8,000 people were infected and 775 died.

The pneumonia outbreak started in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, and Chinese authorities say the number of patients has risen to almost 60.

Preliminary investigations by the Chinese authorities, as reported by the World Health Organization and media outlets, traced the origins of the mystery illness to a seafood market in Wuhan City in central China, where some patients were operating as dealers or vendors.

The outbreak is occurring in Wuhan, about 700 miles south of Beijing. The disease surveillance and monitoring came about as a response to a severe pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan.

"The person is not suffering from any serious ill health", KCDC said.

"I am stunned by the timeline and speed of this isolation and characterization, if it's all true", said Matthew Frieman, a coronavirus expert at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Coronaviruses originate in bats but are able to infect a number of mammals.

China has been grappling with people who have shown pneumonia-like symptoms such as mild-to-high fever, throat swelling and coughing in recent weeks.

It added that since Chinese authorities have conducted laboratory tests and eliminated the SARS coronavirus and the MERS one as possible causes, as well as flu, bird flu, adenovirus and other common respiratory pathogens, "therefore, a novel coronavirus could not be ruled out".

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This type of very broad net will draw in many people who were in or near Wuhan and who have a respiratory tract infection but who have nothing to do with this outbreak - especially in the middle of flu season.

It has asked people to immediately report to doctors if they feel sick after their trips.

Xu said further research was needed on the nature of the outbreak.

But more must be done before scientists can reach a definitive conclusion.

A preliminary investigation into a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China has identified a previously unknown coronavirus.

There has been limited information about the nature of the illness in people who have been infected.

15 patients out of 57 are confirmed to have contracted the new coronavirus, while 7 are reported to be in critical condition. All patients received treatment in quarantine. But since Sars, there has been a dramatic increase in access to sophisticated diagnostic testing, allowing for the early identification of viruses. But as the Washington Post noted, while authorities shut the market down on January 1, the 1,000-stall bazaar "sold not only seafood, but marmots, spotted deer, and venomous snakes" and was described as "filthy and messy".

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