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Masks on, Chinese start holiday travels as alarm mounts over mystery virus

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Masks on, Chinese start holiday travels as alarm mounts over mystery virus

By Huizhong Wu, Sophie Yu

 

tger.PNG

Passengers wearing masks walk under a train information board at the Beijing West Railway Station, ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Beijing, China January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

 

BEIJING (Reuters) - Bundled up in winter clothes as they head home for the Lunar New Year holiday amid a health scare over a mystery new virus, Chinese travellers on the teeming concourse of Beijing West station were evenly split between the masked and the barefaced.

 

Covering up was clearly the best decision for many of the passengers waiting to board the packed train carriages for the 5-1/2 hour journey to Wuhan, the epicenter of an outbreak that has sent shivers through the world’s most populous country.

 

Going back to her hometown, 28-year-old Tan Jie has been ribbed at work about the danger of contracting the new coronavirus, but the blue surgical mask on her face shows she is taking the risk seriously.

 

“My Beijing colleagues joked and said ‘when you come back to work, we’ll have to quarantine you for two weeks,’” Tan said, trying to make light of the dampener the scare has put on the most important holiday for Chinese families.

 

So far three people have died, and authorities globally have counted more than 200 reported cases. On Monday, China confirmed the first cases in the country outside Wuhan, in Beijing and the southern city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong.

 

Liao Guang and her husband are looking forward to being reunited with their two-year-old child in Yichang, a city in the same province as Wuhan, and rushed to buy masks before travelling, as alarm spread on social media after the number of confirmed cases tripled over the weekend.

 

“All the trending items were about this pneumonia outbreak, so I thought we should buy a mask and take some kind of a preventative measure,” said Liao, a petite 26-year-old, trailing a wheelie bag.

 

“I think during this (holiday), we’re not going to go out too much, and probably won’t go to places with a lot of people, like the movie theatre.”

 

BAREFACED SHAME

 

Little remains known about the virus, including its source, how easily it can spread, or its severity, though some experts say it is less deadly than the earlier Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, which killed nearly 800 people in 37 countries after an outbreak in southern China in 2002-2003.

 

Symptoms include fever and difficulty in breathing, like many other respiratory diseases. While it is unclear whether masks provide effective protection, for people with no other information they are the most obvious precaution.

 

Drug stores in Wuhan reported mask sales have surged.

 

“Today we’ve sold out all the single-use masks, and I need to prepare for tomorrow’s supply,” said a worker at a branch of Beike Drug Store. “Demand has surged ten times compared with before the disease broke out.”

 

Beijing has said the outbreak is controllable and vowed to step up efforts to prevent its spread ahead of the holidays, which begin late this week, when hundreds of millions of Chinese will be travel domestically and abroad.

 

At Beijing West railway station the number of people wearing masks was pretty well matched by those without anything covering their faces, and there were no visible infrared temperature cameras for detecting elevated body temperatures.

 

The outbreak, as well as disclosures from local governments about patients under quarantine pending a confirmed diagnosis, were among the top trending topics on social media platforms Monday. Some users expressed anger at a lack of clear guidance from authorities on precautions that could be taken.

 

“I have to search on Weibo by myself for all the new developments - no notice from schools, companies or the compound where I live,” one user of Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, complained.

 

Another took aim as people going without masks for not taking the outbreak seriously.

 

“So ignorant, so fearless, so arrogant,” another user said.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-20
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1 hour ago, snoop1130 said:

“All the trending items were about this pneumonia outbreak, so I thought we should buy a mask and take some kind of a preventative measure,” said Liao, a petite 26-year-old, trailing a wheelie bag.

 

“I think during this (holiday), we’re not going to go out too much, and probably won’t go to places with a lot of people, like the movie theatre.”

Or a crowded train on the journey back...

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Cases in Guangdong province and Shenzhen (next to HK) just jumped from 1 to 14 with 8 in the city of Shenzhen alone.

 

And 66 million travellers are expected to pass through  Wuhan where all major high speed rail terminates.  Imagine the looks you'll get sneezing on the trains, many of which will be standing room only.

 

Wuhan High Speed Rail Map

Edited by rabas
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1 hour ago, khwaibah said:

British tourist fighting for life in Thailand is feared to be first western victim of new Chinese coronavirus as third patient DIES and outbreak spreads to South Korea

  • Ash Shorley, 32, is in critical condition in a hospital in Phuket, Thailand
  • His lung infection is similar to the Chinese coronavirus, but is not confirmed 
  • The unnamed novel virus has infected an estimated 1,700 in Wuhan, China
  • Authorities revealed the virus has spread to other cities in China this weekend 
  • The total confirmed cases has tipped 200 and three have died 
  • Four confirmed cases are outside China in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea 

By Connor Boyd and Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 01:55 GMT, 20 January 2020 | Updated: 10:21 GMT, 20 January 2020 

[IMG]

Does anyone know if he needs funds to help with medical, or have insurance...if he does not maybe someone could start a gofund to help.  He has more than a financial fight on his hands....

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6 minutes ago, mike787 said:

Does anyone know if he needs funds to help with medical, or have insurance...if he does not maybe someone could start a gofund to help.  He has more than a financial fight on his hands....

His parents are with him, also no mention that he travelled to Wuhan. Sounds very serious if his parents flew in to take care of him.

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Why is it being labelled a mystery  virus? I am sure I have seen that it has already been identified as a variation of  another  known virus.

Awareness of possibility of infection is  important . Sadly it seems the only way to raise  awareness is to invoke an element of paranoid  fear which makes people more likely to seek medical  care.

The statistical  facts  show that less people died as a result of  MARS , SARS, etc than those who die in  much greater  numbers  from any other seasonal outbreaks of  Influenza every year !

That fact should  be recognized as a good reason to take  precautions regardless of   media pumped "news".

Rapid onset pneumonia is  not exclusive to specific infections be they  viral or  bacterial.

Respitory infections  can easily turn nasty if the sufferer fails to take care.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Dumbastheycome said:

Why is it being labelled a mystery  virus? I am sure I have seen that it has already been identified as a variation of  another  known virus.

Awareness of possibility of infection is  important . Sadly it seems the only way to raise  awareness is to invoke an element of paranoid  fear which makes people more likely to seek medical  care.

The statistical  facts  show that less people died as a result of  MARS , SARS, etc than those who die in  much greater  numbers  from any other seasonal outbreaks of  Influenza every year !

That fact should  be recognized as a good reason to take  precautions regardless of   media pumped "news".

Rapid onset pneumonia is  not exclusive to specific infections be they  viral or  bacterial.

Respitory infections  can easily turn nasty if the sufferer fails to take care.

It's a mystery because it is not SARS and it is not MERS. That means it is 1) all new (dangerous), and 2) it's properties are unknown (a source of alarm).  SARS came from Chinese cave bats and MERS (wait for it) came from Egyptian tomb bats.

 

Total deaths from SARS and MERS were low because neither really got going. Both were very deadly, MERS 30% and SARS about 10%. MERS does not transmit H2H well at all. SARS spread like crazy but only in a few clusters, (due to a few people being 'super spreaders') thus they were able to stop it.

 

But they understand very little about how this new virus is spreading, but it no longer looks like it comes just from a meat market.  I'm with mike787, time to get masks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Article:

 

"Another took aim as people going without masks for not taking the outbreak seriously.

 

“So ignorant, so fearless, so arrogant,” another user said."

 

Yeah, just like most of the people in Bangkok when air pollution has been at "unheathy/red" level for most of the last two days.

 

The medical surgical masks worn by most (probably due to their lower cost) are not as effective against viruses (or air pollution) as the N95 or, better yet, the N100 respirator type masks that are more expensive.
 

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One question, how come many of these highly infectious diseases start in China....???

Edited by Geoffggi
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59 minutes ago, Geoffggi said:

One question, how come many of these highly infectious diseases start in China....???

Because they have a lot of people there!

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1 hour ago, Geoffggi said:

One question, how come many of these highly infectious diseases start in China....???

All the sh--ite comes from China, even Thai's say that

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Just checked and Prince Philip is still alive. So can't blame him.

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