Since last month, several patients in a Chinese city have been showing symptoms similar to pneumonia from an unknown mystery virus. Health officials are worried as this could lead to a potential outbreak similar to SARS. New cases have been popping out in Japan and Thailand and as the evidence suggests, this unknown virus could be spread by human to human transmission.
On Thursday, Japan’s health ministry confirms that a thirty-year-old man had been tested positive for coronavirus strain after he was back from his visit from the Chinese city of Wuhan which is the epicenter of this virus outbreak. But, Japanese health officials said that a Chinese national was discharged from the hospital and no other cases were reported. The second case has been confirmed on Monday in Thailand were Thai authorities quarantined a 61-year-old woman who returned from Wuhan infected with the virus.
Experts have not been able to figure out how the virus spreads as no new patient visited the seafood market in Wuhan which has been identified as the outbreak’s original source. This has raised concerns as to the virus could have spread through the human transmission. Though the health officials could not verify this, there remains a huge possibility which means it could lead to a massive outbreak.
The World Health Organization on Thursday mentioned that though there seem to be cases with no link with the Huanan seafood market means that human to human transmission remains a high possibility. They even said that it is not surprising to hear new cases outside China and there could be more cases popping out in other countries in the future.
Last month this mystery virus appeared in Wuhan where one person died while 40 other infected people are hospitalized as their condition was critical with symptoms that included high fevers, invasive lung lesions, and breathing difficulties. Last week, few Chinese researchers identified the microbe behind the outbreak is a new strain of coronavirus and published the draft genome.
Coronaviruses are a huge virus family that causes several illnesses starting from the common cold to more harmful diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS). All this has brought back memories from the 2003 SARS outbreak in South China which killed 774 people.