The virus is not being transmitted from animals to humans as was originally hoped. <small> Cover image via Stringer/EPA/Langenthaler Tagblatt EPA-EFE/The Straits Times </small>
A fourth person has died from pneumonia caused by the mysterious Wuhan virus in the central city of China, reported health authorities today, 21 January
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announced that the latest victim was a 89-year-old man who was admitted to hospital last Monday, 13 January, for severe breathing difficulties, reported The Straits Times.
He died on Sunday, 19 January.
The health commission also announced that 15 medical workers in the city have been diagnosed with pneumonia
One of them was in critical condition, said the Wuhan Municipal Health Commision.
The rise of incidences among health workers has heightened concerns about the risk of wider transmission.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that the new virus is being transmitted from human to human, and not just from animals to humans as was originally hoped
This means that patients could contract the new virus without having visited the seafood market in Wuhan where the virus is believed to have broken out from.
According to Bloomberg, that puts the virus in a category similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which was also transmitted from human-to-human and killed almost 800 people in 2003.
WHO also said that they will meet in Geneva on Wednesday, 22 January, to determine whether to declare the outbreak “a public health emergency of international concern”, reported CNA.
The total number of people diagnosed with the new virus has risen to 218.
The virus is spreading outside of China, with Thailand, Japan, and Singapore reporting cases:
The outbreak began in Wuhan, China with patients presenting symptoms of severe respiratory tract infection after visiting a seafood market:
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