Alarms Raised in Wuhan as Pneumonia Outbreak Infects Dozens

Source: China Daily, Aljazeera

A total of 44 people in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, had been diagnosed with viral pneumonia by 8 am on Friday, local health authorities said.

Of the patients with symptoms, including fever and breathing difficulties, 11 were in serious conditions and the rest remained stable, according to a release from the Wuhan Health Commission.

Tests on the exact pathogens and the search for the cause of the infections are still under way. Common respiratory illnesses, such as flu, avian influenza and adenovirus infection, have been ruled out, the release said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was aware of the reports on Friday, and was monitoring the situation. It was in contact with the Chinese government about it.

Clean-up efforts at a seafood market where some victims were vendors have been completed, the city officials said, adding that no obvious human-to-human transmission had been seen and no medical staff had been infected.

On Friday, Singapore's health ministry said it would begin temperature screening on passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan.

Epidemiological investigation shows that some patients are vendors in a seafood market in Wuhan. "So far, there is no clear signs of human-to-human transmission, and no medical worker has been infected," the release said.

All the patients have been quarantined and are receiving medical treatment in hospitals in Wuhan. A total of 121 people who had close contact with the patients are under medical observation and health authorities are tracking more close contacts, according to the commission.