Coronavirus outbreak in China claims fourth victim

By Yanan Wang and Ken Moritsugu, Associated Press

A fourth person has died in an outbreak of a new coronavirus in China which has infected more than 200 people, authorities said.

The outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in the eastern Chinese city of Wuhan, where all four fatalities have been.

State media did not provide any details on the latest victim, nor was it clear if the latest death was a new case or one already diagnosed.

At least four people in China have died from the illness (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

Increased control measures have been enforced at many places, with epidemiologists still uncertain of the outbreak’s nature and mode of transmission.

The country is entering its busiest travel period due the Lunar New Year, which sees many people travelling back to their home town or village.

Health authorities confirmed late on Monday that some cases had been transmitted person-to-person, a development that means the illness could spread faster and more widely.

Countries including Japan, Australia and the US have adopted screening measures for those arriving from China due to concerns about a global outbreak like that caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002 and 2003 and killed nearly 800 people.