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WHO: Pneumonia Cases in China Linked to Single Seafood Market

WHO: Pneumonia Cases in China Linked to Single Seafood Market

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020 - 05:15
A symbol of the World Health Organisation at its headquarters in Geneva. Photo: AFP
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

An outbreak of pneumonia that has killed one person in China and infected 40 others appears to be linked to a single seafood market in the central city of Wuhan and has not so far spread beyond there, the World Health Organization said on Sunday.

The cluster of infections had raised fears of a potential epidemic after China said last week that the virus causing it was a previously unknown type but came from the same family of viruses that caused the SARS and MERS epidemics.

However, the WHO said the outbreak had not spread. The seafood market in Wuhan – a major domestic and international transport hub – is now closed and no cases have been reported elsewhere in China or internationally, it said.

"The evidence is highly suggestive that the outbreak is associated with exposures in one seafood market in Wuhan. At this stage, there are no infection among health care workers, and no clear evidence of human to human transmission," the WHO statement said.

The WHO said last week that a newly emerging member of the coronavirus family of viruses that caused the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) outbreaks was the likely cause of the outbreak.

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