New coronavirus blamed for China mystery illness
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A new coronavirus has been identified as a possible pathogen causing the viral mystery pneumonia in China, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported yesterday.

With this development, the WHO has advised against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China.

According to the WHO, Chinese authorities conducted gene sequencing and identified the coronavirus in a person hospitalized for pneumonia in Wuhan. The preliminary determination of a novel or new virus will assist authorities in other countries to conduct disease detection and response.

“Preliminary identification of a novel virus in a short period of time is a notable achievement and demonstrates China’s capacity to manage new outbreaks,” the WHO said.

Subsequent laboratory tests conducted by Chinese authorities ruled out SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus and other common respiratory pathogens, it added.

Coronaviruses, WHO explained, are a large family of viruses with some causing less severe disease such as the common cold and more severe diseases such as MERS and SARS. 

Chinese authorities have said the mysterious virus caused severe illness in some patients but does not transmit readily between people.

Novel coronaviruses such as MERS emerge periodically in different areas globally while several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

WHO said more coronaviruses are likely to be identified as surveillance improves.

“More comprehensive information is required to understand the current status and epidemiology of the outbreak and the clinical picture in the coming (weeks),” it also said as it added that further investigation is required to determine the source, modes of transmission, extent of infection and countermeasures implemented.

WHO continues to monitor the situation closely and, together with its partners, is ready to provide technical support to China to investigate and respond to this outbreak.

WHO
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