A mysterious virus that is known to have infected dozens of people has continued to spread, with officials in China saying new cases have been detected in Beijing, NBC News reports.
At least 136 new cases have been confirmed in the central China city of Wuhan, where the virus appeared to have originated. A total of 198 people have been infected, with other cases around the world bringing the total to more than 200. Cases have been detected in Thailand and one in Japan, with all of the cases linked back to Wuhan. South Korea also reported its first case of the virus on Monday after a 35-year-old woman was detected by temperature screening upon her arrival at Seoul's Incheon International Airport.
At least three people have died due to the newly discovered virus. Two other patients are reportedly in critical condition and 33 are in serious condition, authorities say.
Symptoms of the virus reportedly include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus is a new strain that belongs to a large family of coronaviruses - the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The primary source of the virus is thought to have come from an animal.
"An animal source seems the most likely primary source of this novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, with some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts," the agency wrote.
The virus has officials around the world on high alert, with many Asian countries screening incoming airline passengers who arrive from central China. Three airports in the U.S. - including John F. Kenny International Airport in New York, San Francisco International and Los Angeles International - announced they would also begin screening for anyone who might be sick.
The outbreak comes as the country prepares for one of the busier seasons of the year as millions of people travel inside and outside of the country for the Lunar New Year.
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