BEIJING (Reuters) – China reported four more cases of pneumonia believed to be caused by a new coronavirus strain, causing rising concern globally that a disease health officials do not yet fully understand could spread during a key holiday period.
The new virus, which was discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, belongs in the same large family of coronaviruses that includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.
Though experts say the new virus does not appear to be as lethal as SARS, there is little known about its origins and how easily it can spread. Thailand and Japan have confirmed new cases of the virus earlier this week, stoking worries globally as many of the 1.4 billion Chinese people will travel abroad during the Lunar New Year holidays that begin next week.
Authorities around the world including in the United States, Thailand and South Korea have stepped up…
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