Cases of deadly new virus in China triple, Beijing confirms human-to-human transmission

by Laura Mize · Jan 20th, 2020 12:23 pm

Last Updated Jan 20th, 2020 at 12:58 pm

A respiratory virus with genetic connection to the SARS virus has tripled in recorded cases, official counts show. The new coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV, is most prevalent in the Chinese city of Wuhan, although it recently spread to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. It has genetic links to the SARS virus, which killed 774 people at the beginning of the century.

Three people have died from the virus so far, and China confirmed that it can be spread from human to human.

Cases also have popped up in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand. Two hundred cases have been reported, although the BBC reports that British scholars believe the actual number of cases may be closer to 2,000.

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV include shortness of breath, fever, cough, and other respiratory problems. The World Health Organization advises people to fully cook eggs and meat, use protection during contact with live animals, and "avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms" to help prevent catching the virus.