KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it has received genetic sequences of the novel virus behind the mysterious pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China, that has killed one so far.
The United Nations public health body said the genetic sequences of the virus believed to be from the same family as SARS would allow countries to develop specific diagnostic kits, identify and care for those infected, and contain the virus.
The media reported that a 61-year-old man from Wuhan died last Thursday after he was hospitalised for respiratory failure and severe pneumonia.
STATNews reported Wuhan health authorities as saying that 41 cases of pneumonia tied to the viral infection have been identified. Two patients have reportedly been discharged from hospital, seven people still have severe conditions, while the rest are in stable condition.
Wuhan authorities also reportedly said last Saturday that no new infections were reported since January 3. They also confirmed that all 41 people had been infected with the new virus, identified as a coronavirus from the same group as SARS and MERS.
The Wuhan outbreak was linked to a fresh seafood market, which also sells exotic meat, that has since been closed since January 1. Coronaviruses, which come from bats but can also infect various animals, can jump from animals to humans, STATNews noted.