China coronavirus outbreak: Death toll hits 41 as second case confirmed in U.S.

Author: CBS News
Published: Updated:
Credit: via CBS News.

The U.S. confirmed a second case of the new coronavirus from China on Friday as authorities in China raced to lock down more cities in an extraordinary bid to halt the spread of the deadly disease. The new virus has left 41 people dead in China and sickened hundreds more.

The quarantine of entire cities in China is unprecedented and affects more than 30 million people.

Authorities believe the new coronavirus, which causes flu-like symptoms, moved into the human population from an infected animal at a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Chinese health officials and the World Health Organization confirmed this week that the virus has been transmitted person-to-person, but it remains unclear how easy it is to contract it from another infected individual. The WHO on Thursday declined to declare the virus a global public health emergency, saying it was still too soon to take that measure.

Australia announces first confirmed case of novel coronavirus

Australian officials have announced the country’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. The case occurred in the state of Victoria, and the patient has been hospitalized in a stable condition in a Melbourne suburb.

The patient was identified as a Chinese national in his 50s. He flew to Australia from Guandong, China, on January 19, according to Victoria Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.

“It is important to stress that there is no cause for alarm to the community,” Mikakos said. “The patient is isolated and is undergoing treatment and we do not have any further suspected cases at this stage.”

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