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First Death Due To Mystery Virus In China Sends Panic Across Globe

A new ‘mysterious’ respiratory virus in China since the advent of the year 2020 has led to fear among people worldwide as the disease is still not contained. The virus has now been found in Thailand as well, The Telegraph reported.

Additionally, the first fatality has also been reported in Wuhan, central China.

More than 50 people have been reportedly infected, and seven are in critical condition due to the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) officials in China have inferred that a coronavirus is the cause of infection.

A Chinese traveller visiting Thailand was diagnosed on arrival at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, on January 8, with the new coronavirus. She was hospitalised immediately and is now recovering, according to Thai officials.

“The possibility of cases being identified in other countries was not unexpected and reinforces why WHO calls for ongoing active monitoring and preparedness in other countries,” said a WHO spokesperson.

The first fatality directly linked to the ‘mystery virus’ took place on January 9, when a 61-year-old man in Wuhan lost his life to the disease.

It is suspected that the illness has its source in the South China Seafood Wholesale Market, in Wuhan.

Due to China’s old brush with an epidemic in 2002, the slow spread of this unidentified virus has raised fears. The country had seen a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, which had killed 774 people out of the 8,098 people it had infected.

“There is a strong memory of SARS, that’s where a lot of fear comes from, but we’re a lot more prepared to deal with those types of diseases,” Dr Josie Golding, from the Wellcome Trust, told BBC.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has warned that while the risk of transmission into Europe is “low”, it “cannot be excluded” because EU airports have direct and indirect flights to Wuhan.

Countries in South Asia, including Thailand, Singapore and South Korea, have also introduced health screening procedures for passengers arriving from the city.

In Bangkok, local media reported that five people have already been quarantined after displaying symptoms similar to patients in Wuhan. And the Hong Kong Hospital Authority has said that seven patients who visited Wuhan in the last two weeks have been admitted to hospital for monitoring after developing fever, pneumonia, or respiratory symptoms.

However, the WHO’s announcement that the novel coronavirus has reached Thailand is the first confirmation that the illness has spread internationally.

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