KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — The official death toll from a mysterious respiratory virus has climbed to 26, with the latest death occurring outside the epicentre of the virus in Hubei.
The Guardian reported that this was the second person to succumb to the novel coronavirus, provisionally called 2019-nCoV, outside Hubei. This death reportedly occurred in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, bordering Russia and located about 2,000km from Hubei provincial capital Wuhan, where the virus originated from.
Twenty-four deaths were recorded in central Hubei province, and one in northern Hebei province.
The New York Times reported yesterday that the coronavirus has mostly killed older men, with many having underlying conditions, based on an analysis of the first 17 official deaths comprising 13 men and four women. The oldest cases were reportedly two 89-year-old men. The median age of the victims was 75.
Many of the victims, according to the New York Times, suffered from preexisting health problems like liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. Most had gone to hospital with a fever and a cough, but at least three people didn’t have a fever when they were admitted, according to Chinese health authorities.
The new coronavirus of unknown origin has infected 830 people across China as of this morning, international media reported, with more cases confirmed in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, and the United States.
The World Health Organization (WHO), however, has declined to declare a global health emergency over the 2019-nCoV outbreak, saying that at this stage, it was an emergency in China but not yet an international one.