World Health Organization: China’s coronavirus latest to evade detection
The World Health Organization said on Friday that the latest case of the mysterious viral respiratory disease of the Chinese people was detected in South Korea.
An animal tested positive for the relapsing fever. There have also six other cases in Australia, South Korea, France, Hungary and the United Kingdom, the organization said.
“Our country has been hard hit by the virus that originated outside of China and many Chinese have died. To the WHO, this shocking news is troubling and cannot be ignored,” said Mocha Herrero, a WHO global health officer.
The WHO found the mystery human infection at a hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan posing the biggest challenge to finding clear answers to the question of why it emerged there in the first place.
“Our analysis of data shows that there is no virus in China with significant numbers of cases, and no patients in Wuhan have been tested,” it said in a statement.
The virus, which causes a rash of fever and coughing in less than a day, has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 2,100.
It is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife that traded in illegally traded wildlife in Wuhan, and has infected 9,000 to 15,000 and caused the deaths of at least 40 people that have been confirmed, including 16 this week in Australia.
South Korea is the second country to have confirmed a case of the disease, which causes a painful and sometimes fatal respiratory illness in hundreds of people.
Japan on Thursday reported its first case, which it said was a Chinese national who had traveled to Japan. A Japanese couple have also contracted the virus.
South Korea on Friday confirmed its first case of the disease, which it called a “Chinese national,” who showed severe symptoms and was transferred to hospital in Seoul.
Almost two-thirds of the 1,520 cases in China have been recorded outside of Wuhan – including 10 cases in Japan, three in France and two in South Korea.
The WHO earlier this week warned that new infections could rise sharply due to severe restrictions placed on movement in China to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.
China restricts public gatherings to 10 people and tightly controls the movement of people inside and outside the country, shutting down large rail, air and road services and dictating where supermarkets can be found.
There has been no confirmed case of coronavirus in North Korea, a state-run enterprise that has no diplomatic relations with the United Nations. North Korea has only reported six infections. It has publicly blamed a mix-up between a defecting soldier and a South Korean soldier for sending a code bluegrenade into North Korea.