No evidence of human-to-human transmission amid Wuhan pneumonia outbreak: WHO

41 reported patients were workers, frequent visitors at local seafood market

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Border screening at Taiwan's airport.

Border screening at Taiwan's airport. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission in the outbreak of pneumonia in the Chinese city of Wuhan, said the World Health Organization on Sunday (Jan. 12).

“The evidence is highly suggestive that the outbreak is associated with exposures in one seafood market in Wuhan,” said the WHO statement, adding that no healthcare workers have been infected and that there is “no clear evidence of human to human transmission.”

The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was closed indefinitely on Jan. 1 for disinfection and investigation. The culprit behind the respiratory illness has been identified as a novel coronavirus believed to come from the same family of viruses that caused the MERS and SARS epidemics.

There have been 41 people infected with the coronavirus, among whom one died due to severe pneumonia complicated by chronic diseases. All of the patients either worked at or were frequent visitors of the market, and there have been no reported cases of the virus outside Wuhan, according to the WHO.

The WHO has advised against the implementation of travel or trade restrictions on China based on the information available on the incident.

Diagnostic kits are being developed using the genetic sequence provided by the Chinese health authorities. Taiwan has not reported any confirmed case related to the virus as of Jan. 13, according to Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control.