Scores have been infected by pneumonia caused by a “preliminarily determined new type of coronavirus.”
The patient who died was identified as a 61-year-old man who was admitted to a hospital because of shortness of breath and severe pneumonia. The commission said he also suffered from abdominal tumors and chronic liver disease and had been a frequent customer at a food market on Wuhan’s outskirts that has been linked to the majority of the cases.
Officials said he died on Jan. 9.
On Jan. 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Chinese authorities had shared with it whole genetic sequences from the new coronavirus, in addition to publishing the information on the open access GISAID database for public health professionals.
While Chinese officials say the cause of the Wuhan outbreak remains unknown, they have sought to quash speculation that it could be a reappearance of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that killed hundreds in 2002 and 2003.
Countries and regions across Asia, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand, have stepped up screening measures for travelers in order to prevent the disease from spreading.
In Hong Kong, the number of suspected cases—individuals who have developed pneumonia-like symptoms after traveling to Wuhan—reached 67.
Some public health experts are concerned that the Chinese regime’s lack of transparency regarding the new virus could lead to a public health crisis akin to the SARS epidemic.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold, while others found in bats, camels, and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.
Common symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough, and fever. Shortness of breath, chills, and body aches are associated with more dangerous kinds of coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Epoch Times contributed to this report.