Mystery China virus patients could have infected family members, say officials

Laverne Higgins
January 15, 2020

Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn't had any exposure to the market. People who did not visit the wet market could be infected by touching some contaminated items, she said.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, said there were two family group cases among the recorded cases in Wuhan, including the husband and wife and a separate case of a father, son and nephew living together.

The 41 infected patients were aged between 20 and 70, while most were male aged between 40 and 69, she said. With the Lunar New Year approaching, the World Health Organization urged Thai authorities and the public to stay vigilant as an influx of Chinese holidaymakers can be expected, said Reuters.

The appearance of the first known case outside of China has elevated concerns that the mysterious virus - thought to be linked to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan - could pop up here in Canada. They were only released after they agreed to delete their footage.

The Hong Kong medical experts' media briefing came after the Wuhan Health Commission made a statement published on its website on Wednesday morning.

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Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explained that limited human-to-human transmission means infections take place when there is close and prolonged contact with the infected.

The commission mentioned the case of the couple, but not that of the three family members. It added that it was checking the environment in other wet markets in the city.

A tourist in Thailand has become the first person outside China diagnosed with a new, pneumonia-like virus that has already infected dozens of people.

A woman walks in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 12, 2020.

The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday.

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