World Health Organisation to monitor China’s mysterious infection outbreak

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Pathogen studies have ruled out more common respiratory diseases, including influenza, avian flu and adenovirus, Wuhan health authorities said. All the patients are being treated under quarantine, according to the commission.

The seafood market, which has since been closed, also sold birds, pheasants, and snakes, along with organs of rabbits and other wildlife, the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy said Thursday, citing media reports.

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That’s triggered concern about the potential jump of an unknown virus to humans – reminiscent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which killed almost 800 people about 17 years ago. The Wuhan Institute of Virology didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment on the infectious source.

It’s not known whether a SARS-like “coronavirus” has been identified, although there have been “numerous unsubstantiated reports mentioning a novel coronavirus that is SARS-like,” the International Society for Infectious Diseases’ ProMED-mail program said in an email Friday.

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