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WHO confirms coronavirus-infected patient being treated in Thailand

The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, infecting dozens of people in China and, on Saturday, Chinese media reported the first known death from the virus.


WHO confirms coronavirus-infected patient being treated in Thailand
Coronaviruses rely on the animal to human transmission, and the health commission in Wuhan has reportedly declared that there is no evidence of any spread between humans.  Image Credit: Pixabay

It is "essential" for China to continue investigating the source of a previously unknown strain of coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Monday, following confirmation that an infected patient is being treated in Thailand.

In its statement, the WHO identified the patient as a traveler from Wuhan, in China, who was hospitalized in Thailand on 8 January. According to Thai authorities, the patient is recovering from the illness.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, infecting dozens of people in China and, on Saturday, Chinese media reported the first known death from the virus.

Coronaviruses rely on the animal to human transmission, and the health commission in Wuhan has reportedly declared that there is no evidence of any spread between humans.

However, given recent developments, WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is planning to consult with the members of the agency's Emergency Committee and could call for a meeting of the Committee at short notice.

In its Monday statement, WHO noted that it has been expecting cases to be reported in countries other than China, underscoring the importance of monitoring and preparedness in other countries. The work of WHO and the Chinese authorities in containing the new coronavirus will be made more complicated by the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, which begins on January 25, and sees hundreds of millions crisscrossing the country.

WHO has issued guidance on how to detect and treat persons ill with the new virus: standard recommendations for halting the spread of coronaviruses include regular hand washing; covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing; thoroughly cooking meat and eggs; and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.

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