onsdag 8. januar 2020

Chinese authorities scramble to identify cause of mysterious disease outbreak

Authorities are racing to identify the cause of a mystery lung infection that has struck nearly 60 people in central China. As of January 5 a total of 59 cases of unexplained pneumonia had been reported in Wuhan, a city with a population of roughly 11 million and the capital of Hubei province. Seven people are in a serious condition after developing the infection, which triggers fever and breathing difficulties, authorities have said.

There were fears that the country was on the verge of a repeat epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which spread around the world in 2002-03, killing 700 people, after originating in China. But the Wuhan Health Commission has confirmed that SARS is not the cause of the new infections - which are thought to have been contracted in late December in a local seafood market.  Middle East respiratory syndrome, influenza and avian flu have also been ruled out, but authorities are still scrambling to identify the source of the pneumonia outbreak.