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New, Contagious Pneumonia Confirmed in China

January 20, 2020, 3:19 PM HST
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A new coronavirus identified in China has proven contagious between humans, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Government officials said the virus, a type of pneumonia, is communicable via person-to-person contact after confirming two people in southern China had contracted the disease from family members.

It’s not known precisely how, or how easily, the virus passes through the population. However, more than 200 cases have been confirmed within the country, officials said. The death toll in China stood at three as of Monday afternoon.

AP reports indicate the outbreak originated at a fresh food market in Wuhan, a city in central China. Authorities in Thailand and Japan have confirmed three cases in travelers coming from China, and the virus has also been detected in South Korea.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday it would begin screening passengers arriving from China at Kennedy Airport in New York City, as well as at airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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The outbreak is coinciding with the Lunar New Year holidays, which are characterized by some of the most frequent travel in China all year long.

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