Seafood market closed after outbreak of ‘unidentified’ pneumonia

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/1 15:33:30

Nurses check a patient's respirator in a hospital in Ningqiang county, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province on February 4, 2019. File photo: VCG

A seafood wholesale market in Central China's Hubei Province was shut down Wednesday after 27 people were hospitalized in December with an unidentified pneumonia.

Seven remained in critical condition, two are recovering and the others were in stable condition, the People's Daily reported on Tuesday, noting that most of them were vendors at Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, capital of Hubei.

Tests, quarantine and treatment were being conducted, the paper said.

The market will be closed for environmental and sanitation control according to public health regulations on pneumonia epidemic controls, the Wuhan Evening News reported, citing a notice posted outside the market by health authorities on Wednesday.

The notice asked vendors to cooperate, saying another notice would indicate when the market will reopen.

Vendors were busy preparing for the closure and began to leave early Wednesday morning, the paper said.

Chinese internet speculations on Tuesday suggested a return of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus, but the People's Daily cited doctors saying that was unlikely. 

If it was SARS, China possesses a mature prevention and treatment system, the newspaper noted, and urged people not to panic.

Viral pneumonia is most common in winter and spring, reports said.

People should allow outside air to circulate indoors, avoid crowed public places, wear masks and visit a doctor if symptoms arise.

The disease was not spread by human-to-human contact and no medical personnel have been infected, Shanghai-based news portal reported on Tuesday.

Officials from the National Health Commission arrived in Wuhan on Tuesday, China Central Television reported.

China has set up systems to prevent epidemic based on a wealth of experiences in dealing with SARS in 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

A total of 8,437 SARS cases were reported all around the world as of July 11, 2003, with the mortality rate reaching 10 percent.

Global Times


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