Some infectious disease experts are warning that it may no longer be feasible to contain the new coronavirus circulating in China. Health officials in China said on Tuesday reported that 100 people had died from the virus.
The health commission of China’s Hubei province said on Tuesday that 100 people had died from the virus as of Jan. 27, according to an online statement, up from the previous toll of 76, with the number of confirmed cases in the province having risen to 2,714.
Other fatalities have been reported elsewhere in China, including the first in Beijing. Bringing the deal toll to 106 so far, according to the People’s Daily. The state newspaper put the total number of confirmed cases in China at 4,193, though some experts suspect a much, much higher number.
Coronavirus can spread quickly
Experts warn that failure to stop it there could see the virus spread in a sustained way around the world.
“The more we learn about it, the greater the possibility is that transmission will not be able to be controlled with public health measures,” said Dr. Allison McGeer, a Toronto-based infectious disease specialist.
Dr. Allison also contracted SARS in 2003 and who helped Saudi Arabia control several hospital-based outbreaks of MERS. If that’s the case, she said, “we’re living with a new human virus. Even more we’re going to find out if it will spread around the globe.”
McGeer cautioned that because the true severity of the outbreak isn’t yet known. It’s impossible to predict what the impact of that spread would be. She also noted it would likely pose significant challenges to health care facilities.
Countries issue travel warnings for China
The United States warned against travel to China on Monday. While Canada issued a more narrow travel warning as the death toll from the spreading coronavirus passed 100. Tens of millions have been stranded during the biggest holiday of the year and global markets rattled.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump offered China whatever help it needed, while the State Department said Americans should “reconsider” visiting all of China due to the virus.
Cases linked to people who travelled from Wuhan have been confirmed in 14 countries. Even more from Japan to the United States, where authorities said they had 110 people under investigation in 26 states. Sri Lanka was the latest to confirm a case.
Cases mounting up in Thailand
Meanwhile, another six Chinese nationals entering Thailand have also been found to be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus. Bringing a total number of cases detected in the country to 14.
Health secretary Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapimai said on Tuesday there were six new cases of coronavirus infection in Thailand. They were aged 6-60 years. All were Chinese nationals and five of them were family members travelling from China’s Hubei province, Dr Sukhum said.
Health officials had tested them all twice, and confirmed they were positive for the novel coronavirus, he said.
The new cases brought the number of coronavirus infection cases detected in Thailand to 14, he said. Of the total 14 infected patients, five had already been treated and also discharged.
The other nine remained at the hospital, Dr Sukhum said.