China's National Health Commission on Monday confirmed that two cases of infection in China's Guangdong province were due to human-to-human transmission. Test results for the virus returned positive over the weekend. The number of cases has jumped from 45 on Friday to more than 200, officials said.
Doctors in Wuhan, China's seventh most populous city, have stepped up screening for suspected cases of pneumonia. Another statement confirmed a new case in Shanghai, bringing the number of known cases worldwide to 222.
The severity of the outbreak has increased, as the virus spreads internationally, and the death toll increases.
The health body has promised to step up monitoring during this week's Lunar New Year celebrations, when millions of people will travel to be with their families. Cases have already been reported in close to half a dozen other countries.
U.S. health authorities on Tuesday announced the first case of a person on American soil sickened by a new virus that emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and intensified airport health screenings.
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People traveling from Wuhan will have their temperature checked and be asked about symptoms.
On Saturday, January 18, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported 136 newly identified cases of the viral pneumonia and one additional death. They can infect animals and people and can spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with an infected person.
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Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also responding, the agency said on Twitter . Both Enriquez, a seven-year veteran of the police force, and Kalama, who had served for nine years, were parents.
Scientists believed animal meat was the source of infection due to the majority of patients having worked or visited the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan city.
South Korea reported a new case of the virus involving a Chinese traveller from Wuhan.
As a nationwide precaution, the CDC set up screening points at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and NY for travelers from China over the weekend.
Health officials are urging caution but say there is no reason to panic.
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