Singapore, HK, Taiwan Screening Travelers After China’s Pneumonia Outbreak

The cause of the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan is still unknown, sparking fears of a SARS-like epidemic.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — A mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China has caused Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong to screen travelers at airports for fever.

Bloomberg reported Singapore’s Ministry of Health as saying that temperature screening will be imposed at Changi Airport for all travelers arriving from Wuhan, China, from this evening.

Hong Kong authorities similarly said thermal imaging systems would be implemented at boundary checkpoints as part of increased fever surveillance, while Taiwan has also reportedly taken similar measures.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported that 44 people have been diagnosed with pneumonia, whose cause is unknown, as of today, with 11 in serious condition. Common respiratory diseases including influenza, avian flu, and adenovirus have been ruled out. All patients are reportedly under quarantine.

Some of the pneumonia patients reportedly worked at a fresh seafood and produce market in the central Chinese city, which has since been closed.

People have expressed concern about the potential jump of a mysterious virus to humans, like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak that killed almost 800 people in 2003.

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