27 found infected with mysterious pneumonia in Wuhan
According to reports, 27 people were found infected with viral pneumonia with unknown origin in Wuhan, a city in central Hebei province, China, of which seven are now in critical condition. Authorities still cannot identify what pathogen causes this viral outbreak, and is now in concern of its link to severe acute respiratory corona virus (SARS) which has affected more than 8,000 lives across the world in 2003-2004.
Chinese authorities are now investigating seafood market in Wuhan city where most of the infected work as stallholders. The market is said to sell wildlife such as snakes and parts of rabbits, raising concern to a zoonotic transmission. However, initial lab testing has suggested that there has been no absolute clear of human-to-human transmission for this disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has now been in an ongoing contact with the Chinese authorities to further investigate the outbreak.
Asian countries are now on alert, and is setting up precautionary measures. Changi International Airport in Singapore sets up temperature screening for travelers who come from Wuhan. Hong Kong, which was formally hit badly during SARS outbreak, is also on high alert with border screenings since Hing Kong has close transport ties with Wuhan city.