China's new virus could come to Australia, warn experts

Queens Passengers from China screened for virus at JFK Airport Magee Hickey 10:21 PM, Jan

CDC begins ‘enhanced’ health screenings at 3 airports due to China virus

After leaving the plane, their temperature was taken, and if it was normal, they could proceed. "Don't go to places where there's a lot of people", said one user.

Instead, they say, the virus has crossed the species barrier and come from infected animals at a seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan.

The National Health Commission said on Sunday departments should work together to carry out preventative measures.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the new cases in a statement Sunday.

It is thought most people contracted it through exposure to animals at a market that sells seafood and meat in Wuhan.

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The unknown virus however is from the same large family of coronaviruses that includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed almost 800 people globally during a 2002-03 outbreak that also started in China.

Officials have been providing updates on new cases nearly daily since Jan 11, and the number reported yesterday was the highest since then.

"We're always looking for the next pandemic, right, we have to do that, and I think what we're concerned about is there going to be some kind of contagion-style infection where you get something spread through the air, and this is a real case scenario".

That's an incredibly important distinction because it means that virus-positive individuals wouldn't be able to spread their illness to other people. However, so far there is little evidence of significant human-to-human transmission, it said. Scientists say that it is also possible that the virus could mutate to become more risky.

Last Saturday, the country reported the first death from a new virus that broke out in central China.

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China will step up efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays as a rise in confirmed cases fanned fears the virus could spread to other countries.

"Entry screening alone is not a guarantee against the possible importation of this new virus but is an important public health tool during periods of uncertainty and part of a multilayered government response strategy", said the statement.

Scott Pauley, a CDC spokesman, told VOA the CDC anticipates a higher number of Chinese travelers to the United States for the new year and has factored this into its planning.

The outbreak of this virus was trending on Weibo, a microblogging platform in China. Wuhan is a main hub in China's railway network. Some of China's neighbors have instituted medical checks at airports.

The clinical signs and symptoms of coronavirus infection are mainly fever with a few patients having difficulty in breathing, the Indian travel warning said.

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