February 2, 2020

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First Coronavirus Death Outside China Reported

BEIJING—The newly identified coronavirus has claimed its first victim outside China, a 44-year-old Chinese man...


BEIJING—The newly identified coronavirus has claimed its first victim outside China, a 44-year-old Chinese man in the Philippines, as the death toll surpassed 300 and the number of people sickened by it approached 15,000 globally.

The man—from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began in December—died on Saturday, the Philippine Department of Health said on Sunday.

The man was one of two confirmed cases in the Philippines, the other being his 38-year-old female companion, authorities said. Both had arrived in the country on January 21 after traveling through Hong Kong, they said.

Though hundreds of people have died from the coronavirus since the outbreak first began in central China, all deaths had, until now, been in China itself. Some 150 people outside China have been sickened by the virus.

Both patients in the Philippines were being treated in isolation at a hospital in the capital of Manila, health authorities said in their statement. The man developed severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infection, the statement added, and while he had shown signs of improvement in recent days, his condition deteriorated rapidly in his final 24 hours.

Philippine health authorities urged calm.

“I would like to emphasize that this is an imported case with no evidence of local transmission,” Health Secretary

Francisco T. Duque III

said.

Coronaviruses: From Animals to Humans

Researchers aren’t sure how the novel coronavirus first infected people in China, but the viruses that cause SARS and MERS, which originated in bats, provide clues.

Proteins on the outer shell of the virus allow it to latch onto cells in the host’s respiratory tract. The proteins’ shapes are determined by the virus’s genes.

To infect new hosts, the virus’s genes undergo mutations that alter its surface proteins, allowing them to latch onto the cells of new species.

In the case of SARS, the virus jumped from bats to civet cats before gaining the ability to infect humans. In the case of MERS, camels served as the intermediate host.

Coronaviruses can also jump directly to humans, without mutating or passing through an intermediate species.

Researchers aren’t sure from what animal the novel coronavirus originated or whether it passed through an intermediate species before infecting humans.

Proteins on the outer shell of the virus allow it to latch onto cells in the host’s respiratory tract. The proteins’ shapes are determined by the virus’s genes.

To infect new hosts, the virus’s genes undergo mutations that alter its surface proteins, allowing them to latch onto the cells of new species.

In the case of SARS, the virus jumped from bats to civet cats before gaining the ability to infect humans. In the case of MERS, camels served as the intermediate host.

Coronaviruses can also jump directly to humans, without mutating or passing through an intermediate species.

Researchers aren’t sure from what animal the novel coronavirus originated or whether it passed through an intermediate species before infecting humans.

Proteins on the outer shell of the virus allow it to latch onto cells in the host’s respiratory tract. The proteins’ shapes are determined by the virus’s genes.

To infect new hosts, the virus’s genes undergo mutations that alter its surface proteins, allowing them to latch onto the cells of new species.

In the case of SARS, the virus jumped from bats to civet cats before gaining the ability to infect humans. In the case of MERS, camels served as the intermediate host.

Coronaviruses can also jump directly to humans, without mutating or passing through an intermediate species.

Researchers aren’t sure from what animal the novel coronavirus originated or whether it passed through an intermediate species before infecting humans.

Proteins on the outer shell of the virus allow it to latch onto cells in the host’s respiratory tract. The proteins’ shapes are determined by the virus’s genes.

To infect new hosts, the virus’s genes undergo mutations that alter its surface proteins, allowing them to latch onto the cells of new species.

In the case of SARS, the virus jumped from bats to civet cats before gaining the ability to infect humans. In the case of MERS, camels served as the intermediate host.

Coronaviruses can also jump directly to humans, without mutating or passing through an intermediate species.

Researchers aren’t sure from what animal the novel coronavirus originated or whether it passed through an intermediate species before infecting humans.

Mr. Duque said the government has implemented a temporary travel ban for travelers coming from the Chinese mainland, Macau and Hong Kong.

As of the end of Saturday, the number of confirmed infections across China had reached 14,380, with 2,110 severe cases and 304 deaths, China’s official National Health Commission reported.

Countries and airlines around the world have limited their contact with China after the World Health Organization designated the coronavirus outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.” The U.S. and Australia have raised their travel alerts for all of China to their highest levels, “Do Not Travel.”

New Zealand on Sunday also raised its travel advice to “Do Not Travel,” and placed temporary entry restrictions on all foreign nationals traveling from, or transiting through, mainland China.

The entry restrictions will take effect Monday and will be in place for up to 14 days, Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern

said. New Zealand hasn’t yet had a confirmed case of the virus.

Write to Jonathan Cheng at [email protected] and Feliz Solomon at [email protected]

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