Coronavirus: Latest news on the deadly outbreak

Governments and health officials around the world are trying to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

A disinfection worker wearing protective gear sprays antiseptic solution in a train at an SRT train station on Friday in Seoul amid rising public concerns over the spread of China's coronavirus.
A disinfection worker wearing protective gear sprays antiseptic solution in a train at an SRT train station on Friday in Seoul amid rising public concerns over the spread of China’s coronavirus.
(Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
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Flight diverted to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County

A flight carrying government employees evacuated from the U.S. Consulate in the Chinese city of Wuhan amid a coronavirus outbreak will land at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County instead of Ontario International Airport, officials announced Tuesday night.

Curt Hagman, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said in a video news release that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told local officials that the flight will be diverted to the base “for the logistics that they have.”

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Health officials monitor potential case of coronavirus in San Diego County

One person is in isolation at home in San Diego County after they were tested for a new strain of coronavirus after traveling to an area of China affected by an outbreak of the virus.

On Sunday, the potential case was reported to the county’s health agency, and after consulting with a hospital, a specimen was collected and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the only entity currently capable of testing for this novel coronavirus, according to the county.

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Death toll from coronavirus rises to at least 106 in China

Deaths from a new viral disease that is causing mounting global concern rose by 25 to at least 106 in China on Tuesday as the United States and other governments prepared to fly their citizens out of the locked-down city at center of the outbreak.

The total includes the first death in Beijing, the Chinese capital, and 24 more fatalities in Hubei province, where the first illnesses from the newly identified coronavirus occurred in December.

Asian stock markets tumbled for a second day, dragged down by worries about the virus’s global economic impact.

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Coronavirus in the U.S.: 110 people in 26 states under investigation for possible infection

A total of 110 people in 26 U.S. states are under investigation for possible infection with the new strain of coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday.

Five people in the United States have tested positive for the deadly strain of the virus, one each in Washington, Illinois and Arizona, and two in Southern California. No new U.S. cases were confirmed overnight, CDC officials said in a press briefing.

The majority of people being tested for coronavirus had either recently traveled to Wuhan, China, or had contact with someone who did, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Results are expected in one to two weeks, though the CDC is doing everything it can to expedite the process, she said.

“At this time in the United States, this virus is not spreading in the community,” Messonnier said, and for that reason officials continue to believe the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public remains low.

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‘There’s no one here’: In Beijing, shops, restaurants that cater to tourists are quiet

The east gate to the Forbidden City in Beijing is usually bustling with visitors. But on Monday, with the former imperial palace closed indefinitely because of the coronavirus, only a few people in protective masks strolled beside the frozen moats.

Restaurants and souvenir shops that cater to tourists were empty.

“There’s no one here,” said an employee at a shop that features Chinese-style children’s outfits, cigarettes, sodas and plates emblazoned with images of Chinese leaders Mao Tse-tung and Xi Jinping.

The woman, who would not give her name, was philosophical about the disruption.

“There’s nothing we can do,” she said. “Anyway, the people’s safety is the most important thing.”

Down the street at Beijing Specialties, which sells sesame cakes, fruit-filled pastries and other local treats, Ruan Chuan said his shop is usually so busy that he doesn’t have time to eat lunch.

“We’ll see how long it lasts,” Ruan said. “If it’s a long time, it could really affect us.”

During the Lunar New Year holiday, many Beijingers leave town while those from other parts of China use the time off from work to visit the capital city.

Beijing’s major historical attractions, from the Summer Palace to parts of the Great Wall, are closed as a precaution to keep the virus from spreading, though only a handful of confirmed cases have been announced in the city.

At subway stations, workers in white protective suits held thermometers up to passengers’ foreheads as part of a mass screening effort. A woman’s voice on a loudspeaker ordered people to wear masks while taking public transportation.

The Beijing city government has said that people returning from the outbreak’s epicenter should confine themselves at home for two weeks.

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Coronavirus could spread more easily than SARS, health official says

The Wuhan coronavirus is contagious during its incubation period, with many patients initially showing mild symptoms, meaning it could spread more easily than the SARS virus that ravaged Asia in 2003, a top Chinese health official said Sunday.

Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, called the outbreak “severe and complex” and said attempts to control it were in a crucial phase.

“Walking infections” of people who aren’t seriously ill make stopping the spread of the virus more difficult, he said Sunday, according to the health commission’s website. Patients often do not have a high fever at first, and there are many mild cases of the illness, he added.

Based on early research, the incubation period averages about 10 days but can be as short as one day or as long as 14 days, Ma said. The outbreak is still centered on Wuhan, he said, but it could continue for some time and has already spread to other Chinese provinces and beyond. Scientists are still a long way from understanding the virus, including how it originated, how it is transmitted and how much it may mutate, Ma said.

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Russia moves to stem some travel to China to contain risk of coronavirus

Officials in Russia’s Far East have asked tour agents to cancel individual and organizes tours to China as the country tries to contain the risk of the spreading of the coronavirus.

Russia shares a 2,615-mile border with China, and Russian tourism to China is on the rise, with many Russian tourists based in the Far Eastern cities booking all-inclusive package tours to Hainan island, a province off China’s southern coast.

Some 655,000 Russian tourists visited China in the first nine months of 2019, an increase of 22% from the same period the year before, according to Russian security services.

Chinese tourists are also flocking to Russia on group tours that often include visits to sites memorializing Soviet Union leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Chinese tourism to Russia increased year-over-year by 20% in 2019 with 1.2 million Chinese arriving in Russia in the first nine months of that year, according to Russian government tour agencies.

Russia has so far had no reported cases of the flu-like virus.In neighboring Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Askar Mamin suspended the 72-hour visa-free entry for Chinese transit passengers on Sunday.

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First confirmed case of coronavirus in L.A. County

Health officials have confirmed the first cases of the new strain of coronavirus in Los Angeles and Orange counties, brought by travelers who came from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China.

In both counties, the infected individuals’ viruses were the same strain as the one that had spread to more than 2,000 people in 14 countries and territories and caused 56 deaths since it was discovered late last month in central China. Two other cases have been diagnosed in the U.S., one in Washington state and one in Chicago.

In L.A. County, the infected person was a “returning traveler” from Wuhan who is “receiving medical treatment” at a local hospital, officials said.

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Confirmed deaths and cases of the coronavirus around the world

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With coronavirus spreading, U.S. evacuating personnel to San Francisco from Wuhan, China

The U.S. State Department announced Sunday that it planned to evacuate personnel stationed in Wuhan, China, to San Francisco because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials are “making arrangements to relocate its personnel stationed at the U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan to the United States. We anticipate that there will be limited capacity to transport private U.S. citizens on a reimbursable basis on a single flight leaving Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on January 28, 2020 and proceeding directly to San Francisco,” the State Department said in a statement.

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Daily graph of the spread of coronavirus cases around the world

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California’s first case of new coronavirus strain is confirmed in Orange County

California has recorded its first confirmed case of the new strain of coronavirus, brought to Orange County by a traveler who visited from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed late Saturday night that the infected person’s virus was the same strain as the one that had spread to more than 2,000 people in 14 countries and territories and caused 56 deaths since it was discovered late last month in central China. Two other cases have been diagnosed in the U.S., one in Washington state and one in Chicago.

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The coronavirus from China is new, and that makes everything dicier

The World Health Organization has confirmed two more deaths from coronavirus, bringing the total to 11.
(Health Protection Agency / Associated Press )

The coronavirus sweeping through China and spreading across the globe has health authorities on high alert. It’s not just because the virus has infected more than 1,975 people, killed 56 and forced millions to be quarantined. It’s also because this particular virus has never been seen before.

Any time a “novel” virus appears on the scene, things immediately become much more complicated.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping calls situation serious as China scrambles to contain virus

A Chinese passenger that just arrived on the last bullet train from Wuhan to Beijing is checked for a fever by a health worker at a Beijing railway station on January 23, 2020 in Beijing, China.
A Chinese passenger that just arrived on the last bullet train from Wuhan to Beijing is checked for a fever by a health worker at a Beijing railway station on January 23, 2020 in Beijing, China.
(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

BEIJING — As Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a public warning Saturday of “serious” concerns over the deadly coronavirus outbreak, officials in the epicenter of Wuhan scrambled for more beds amid chaos at local hospitals, with the effects rippling across China and beyond.

In Beijing, tourist attractions, including exhibitions at the Summer Palace and parts of the Great Wall, were closed indefinitely. Ice skating rinks popular with locals were also shut down.

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In New York City’s Chinatown, residents and doctors brace for coronavirus’ arrival

Pharmacies in Wuhan are restricting customers to buying one mask at a time amid high demand and worries over an outbreak of a new coronavirus.
Pharmacies in Wuhan are restricting customers to buying one mask at a time amid high demand and worries over an outbreak of a new coronavirus.
(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NEW YORK — In the city with the largest population of ethnic Chinese outside of Asia, the Year of the Rat is being ushered in with a brisk trade in jade trinkets, steamed New Year cakes and N95 protective masks.

On the eve of celebrations marking the start of the Lunar New Year, the medical-grade face masks have been selling briskly at Canal Pharmacy in Chinatown, said pharmacy technician Elena Zheng. Outside, Lien Chu and Ha Tran were anxious to get in and buy some before they were gone. They were making do with improvised face masks.

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Should you panic about the coronavirus from China? Here’s what the experts say

It’s a virus scientists have never seen before. Health officials don’t know exactly where it came from, but it has traveled more than 7,000 miles since it was discovered late last month in central China.

New infections are confirmed every day despite an unprecedented quarantine. The death toll is rising, too.

If this were a Hollywood movie, now would be time to panic. In real life, however, all that most Americans need to do is wash their hands and proceed with their usual weekend plans.

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In Beijing, more surgical masks but business as usual despite coronavirus outbreak

People wear masks in the Jingshan Park in Beijing, China, 24 January 2020.
People wear masks in the Jingshan Park in Beijing, China, 24 January 2020.
(WU HONG/EPA-EFE/REX/WU HONG/EPA-EFE/REX)

BEIJING — As the coronavirus outbreak in China intensified, with deaths rising and 36 million people under lockdown near the epicenter, it was business as usual more than 700 miles away in the capital, Beijing.

The only signs anything was amiss: More surgical masks than usual obscuring the faces of pedestrians, subway riders and motorcyclists, and, among some, a vague anxiety that things could get worse.

The death toll rose to 41 but the attitude among Beijingers and tourists could be summed up as less than panicky and more of “let’s be ready just in case.” An annoyance tucked into a communal shrug at the unknown.

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Second U.S. coronavirus case is confirmed in Chicago

WASHINGTON — A Chicago woman has become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the dangerous new virus from China, health officials announced Friday.

The woman in her 60s returned from China on Jan. 13 without showing any signs of illness, but three or four days later she called her doctor to report feeling sick.

The patient is doing well and remains hospitalized “primarily for infection control,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner.

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China locks down cities with 18 million to contain deadly coronavirus

A Chinese passenger that just arrived on the last bullet train from Wuhan to Beijing is checked for a fever by a health worker at a Beijing railway station on January 23, 2020 in Beijing, China.
A Chinese passenger that just arrived on the last bullet train from Wuhan to Beijing is checked for a fever by a health worker at a Beijing railway station on January 23, 2020 in Beijing, China.
(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

BEIJING — Chinese authorities Thursday moved to lock down at least three cities with a combined population of more than 18 million in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds of people and spread to other parts of the world during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.

The open-ended lockdowns are unmatched in size, embracing more people than New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago put together.

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Q&A: What is coronavirus? What you should know about the virus behind the outbreak in China

Health officials around the world are keeping a close watch on an outbreak of a new virus in China, which is spreading around Asia and has reached the United States. Governments are responding with stepped-up surveillance of airline passengers arriving from the affected area to try to keep the outbreak under control.

Here’s what you should know about the coronavirus at the center of the outbreak.

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