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Hong Kong medical researchers have warned against consuming game meat after preliminary research by mainland medical experts shed more light on the virus responsible for a pneumonia-like disease outbreak in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei province.
The National Health Commission said on Thursday the outbreak that has sickened dozens of people in the central mainland city has been linked to a new strain of coronavirus, and further investigations are needed to unravel the novel strain.
Hui Shu-cheong, chairman of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, said in Hong Kong on Thursday the new strain, although similar to that of severe acute respiratory syndrome, is likely to be less threatening than the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Medical experts said the new virus can possibly be traced to bats or other wild animals, and advised the public not to eat game meat, and steer clear of places serving such products.
Hui recalled that one out of four SARS-infected patients had required Intensive Care Unit treatment, and the global fatality rate reached 9.6 percent. But, so far, there has been no definite evidence of human-to-human transmission of the new virus, and no healthcare professional or worker has been infected.
Wong Ka-hing, controller of the Centre for Health Protection, said however, the public should not take the epidemic lightly as the information available is insufficient to reach any conclusion at this stage.
The center said it"s in the process of obtaining the new coronavirus" gene sequence from the NHC, as it can help cut the diagnosis time from six to eight hours to less than two hours.
The Hong Kong Hospital Authority has reported more than 40 suspected cases in the SAR since late December. But, none of the patients has been found to be infected with the new coronavirus, and 25 of them have been discharged from hospital.
As research on the virus continues, face masks have almost been sold out in Hong Kong, while scams claiming to provide effective prevention against the disease have led to credulous customers being swindled.
Medical experts have shot down claims that standard pneumococcal vaccines would be effective against the viral pneumonia outbreak, after dozens of mainland tourists fell for the scam.
Dismissing such claims as groundless, they said the standard vaccines are only for treating bacterial lung infections, and provide no protection against the new virus.polynesian wristband tattoo designsdebossed color filled silicone wristbandmiscarriage awareness silicone braceletsbeing human wristband onlinesilicone wristbands johannesburg