WHO officials say Wuhan viral pneumonia outbreak can be passed from person to person

pharmafile | January 20, 2020 | News story | Sales and Marketing China, Sars, Viral pneumonia, WHO, World Health Organisation, Wuhan Outbreak 

The viral pneumonia outbreak that began in Wuhan China can spread between person to person, according to health experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Dr Takeshi Kasai, the WHO’s Regional Director for the western pacific, said: “It is clear that there is at least some human-to-human transmission from the evidence we have, but we don’t have clear evidence that shows the virus has acquired the capacity to transmit among humans easily.”

On Friday, the WHO released guidance for diagnostic detection of the virus. So far there are no reports of healthcare workers being infected which indicates it is not as infectious as the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak of 2002-2003, which killed thousands.

The virus has now infected more than 200 and three people have died due to complications with the disease.

Over the last few weeks it spread from Wuhan to Thailand and Japan. Recently, cases have been reported in Beijing and Guangdong in mainland China, as well as South Korea.

Chinese authorities said the outbreak is controllable and preventable in an attempt to reassure the public, as hundreds of millions of people prepare to travel ahead of the country’s New Year celebrations.

The most recent outbreak began on 12 December, and has been traced to a Wuhan market that sold meat and animals. The disease is thought to come from animal products.

Conor Kavanagh

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