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01 Feb 2020 | 09:04 PM UTC

China: Coronavirus death toll rises to 304 as of February 1 /update 28

Health officials confirm 304 fatalities of 14,499 confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases as of February 1; further spread of the virus expected in the near term

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CHN

Event

The Chinese National Health Commission announced in the late evening (local time) on Saturday, February 1, that the death toll for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has risen to 304. Health officials also confirmed a total of 14,499 coronavirus cases worldwide; 98.8 percent of cases have been reported in mainland China. 

Significant transportation and business disruptions are ongoing throughout China to contain the outbreak, as cases have been confirmed in every region. Wuhan (Hubei province) remains under strict transportation restrictions to flights, trains and other public transport services. Further spread of the illness is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 20 countries and territories worldwide. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in Germany, Japan, the US, and Vietnam. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.