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  • Nearly 300 'Novel Coronavirus' Cases Confirmed In 6 Countries Including The Philippines

    The virus is said to have originated in a seafood market in Wuhan, China.
    by Kate Borbon .
Nearly 300 'Novel Coronavirus' Cases Confirmed In 6 Countries Including The Philippines
PHOTO BY iStock
  • As of January 21, 2020, Tuesday, a total of almost 300 cases (including six deaths) of the 'novel (new) coronavirus' that originated from Wuhan, China have been confirmed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The latest case was confirmed in the United States, CNN reports. The unnamed patient, who is in his 30s and lives in Snohomish County, Washington, arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 15, before health screenings were implemented at U.S. airports.

    The man became ill four days after arriving in the U.S. and sought medical attention on January 19. After looking at his symptoms and travel history, doctors sent specimens to the CDC, which confirmed that he had the virus.

    The CDC and Washington state are currently tracing the people who were in contact with the patient to see if he had spread the virus to anyone else. CNN reports that according to US health officials, the patient is recuperating but still kept in isolation as a precaution.

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    The virus has also been confirmed in other countries. The first reported case was confirmed in Wuhan on December 24, 2019. As of January 21, 2020, the New York Times says there are now 291 patients infected with the new coronavirus in China (270 of those originated from Wuhan).

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    On January 20, South Korea reported its first case of the virus. Reuters reports that according to the South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the patient is a 35-year-old Chinese woman, a resident of Wuhan who had traveled from her hometown to Incheon International Airport on January 19, Sunday.

    After displaying symptoms including high fever, she was isolated upon entering South Korea. The KCDC is currently investigating everyone who had had contact with her.

    On January 15, Japan’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed. The patient is a man in his 30s who lives in Japan and had traveled to Wuhan in late December. He developed a fever on January 3 after being in contact with an individual with pneumonia.

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    After returning to Japan on January 6 and testing negative for influenza, he went to a hospital. His samples were collected and sent for testing, and on January 15, it was confirmed that he had a “very small amount” of the new coronavirus, says the World Health Organization.

    In Thailand, as of January 17, there are two confirmed cases of the new strain of coronavirus. The first is a 61-year-old Chinese woman who lives in Wuhan who flew to Thailand with family members. The second case is a 74-year-old woman, also a resident of Wuhan, who was put on quarantine upon her arrival in Thailand.

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    In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on January 21 that a 5-year-old boy from Wuhan who arrived in Cebu City on January 12 tested positive for coronavirus, but it has not been established whether this is the China coronavirus. He also tested negative for MERS-COV and SARS, which also belong in the family of coronavirus. He is now being monitored by health officials.

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    The DOH also previously reported that it is monitoring three other Chinese nationals — a 29-year-old woman, a 3-year-old girl, and a 65-year-old man — after they landed at Kalibo International Airport exhibiting fever, colds, and cough.

    Because health authorities believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, they initially assumed that coronavirus could only be spread through contact with animals. However, experts have also found evidence that the virus could be spread from human to human.

    “Human-to-human spread has been confirmed [but] how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading remains unknown,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, said in a press conference, National Geographic reports.

    However, according to Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the CDC’s division of global migration and quarantine, coronavirus doesn’t appear to be as easily spread as other viruses. “This isn’t anywhere near in the same category as measles or the flu,” he tells CNN.

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