News and Commentary

China Quarantines Millions After Thousands Exposed To Mutating Virus That Has Killed Many
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 22: Chinese police officers wear protective masks at Beijing Station before the annual Spring Festival on January 22, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 400 in mainland China Wednesday as health officials stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts confirmed can be passed from human to human. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to nine on Wednesday and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States,Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China is essentially quarantining Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million people, in response to up to 4,000 people that have been exposed to a mutating Coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people.

“To combat the spread of the virus, which first appeared at the end of December and has killed at least 17 people and sickened more than 500, the Chinese government said it would cancel planes and trains leaving Wuhan beginning Thursday, and suspend buses, subways and ferries within it,” The New York Times reported. “In Beijing, at least 4,000 residents who had been exposed to the virus were kept in isolation, and 300 college students who had had contact with infected people were sequestered in a military camp for two weeks.”

Experts told The New York Times that a shut down of this scale was unprecedented in human history.

Several cases have been reported outside of China in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

“Chinese health officials said they had ascertained that the virus started in an unsanitary food market that was selling wild and exotic animals for consumption,” The Washington Post reported. “Snakes were the most likely cause of the virus, five Chinese scientists concluded in a paper published Wednesday in the Journal of Medical Virology.”

Tom Inglesby, ­director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins, said, “In past outbreaks, we haven’t seen evidence that large-scale quarantine diminishes spread of disease. It runs the risk of people losing confidence in government. And it places enormous responsibilities on government to make sure that people can continue to get food, basic necessities, medicines.”

This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.

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