Virus Update: Chinese Cases Up 50%, Third US Case

The Washington Post reports:

China’s national health commission said early Sunday that the number of confirmed infections had soared 50 percent over the prior 24 hours to 1,975 people across 30 provinces. Fifty-six deaths have been reported, including in major metropolitan areas such as Shanghai. Several doctors in Beijing, the capital, also reported being infected.

The United States, meanwhile, announced a third case of the coronavirus — a Chinese traveler from Wuhan who took ill in Orange County, Calif. Authorities say he is under care in isolation and the “risk of local transmission is low.”

The Associated Press reports:

China has issued massive travel bans in hard-hit sections of that country to try to stem spread of the virus, and the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan announced Sunday that it would evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight.

The CDC expects more Americans to be diagnosed with the newly discovered virus, which is believed to have an incubation period of about two weeks, as worldwide the number of confirmed cases nears 2,000.

The CDC is screening passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan at five major airports in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The South China Morning Post reports:

When the Netflix docuseries Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak began streaming last week, it landed just in time for the peak flu season. It also coincidentally aired as a deadly new coronavirus first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan put health authorities worldwide on alert.

Wuhan and several other Chinese cities are in lockdown over the Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese usually travel for family reunions and breaks.

The docuseries carries a dire warning: “When we talk about another flu pandemic happening, it’s not a matter of if, but when.”