A 62-year-old Chinese doctor in Wuhan 'at the front line' of the coronavirus outbreak has died after treating patients

ktenbarge@businessinsider.com (Kat Tenbarge)
·3 min read
Wuhan virus
Wuhan virus

Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo

A Chinese doctor in Wuhan, the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, died after treating patients. China Global Television Network reports that Liang Wudong, 62, was an ENT specialist "at the front line" of the outbreak.

The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 41 people so far and infected nearly 1,300, causing the Chinese government to quarantine at least 12 cities, and at least 33 million people. The virus is believed to have originated at a wet market, where livestock and poultry are sold alongside animals like dogs, hares, and civets. 

Doctors in Wuhan have been overwhelmed with the number of coronavirus patients, and some are wearing adult diapers because they don't have time to go to the restroom. Wudong worked at Hubei Xinhau Hospital, which says he retired in March 2019. He died early Saturday.

 

Some experts believe coronavirus jumped from bats to snakes to people. From China, it has since spread to at least 10 other countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, and the United States, where two patients have been diagnosed with the virus after returning from China.

Overworked medical professionals face dangers besides the coronavirus. The Washington Post reports that an exhausted 51-year-old doctor, Jiang Jijun, died Thursday in Wuhan of a heart attack while treating patients.

doctors signs wuhan hospitals
doctors signs wuhan hospitals

THE CENTRAL HOSPITAL OF WUHAN VIA WEIBO via Reuters

One doctor in Wuhan told the BBC that local hospitals were "flooding" with thousands of patients, and that there was not enough protective gear for everybody working. 

The Chinese government has sent 1,200 more medical professionals to Wuhan to combat the epidemic and ease the burden on local doctors, The Guardian reports. The country's health ministry has also ordered a nationwide effort to identify and immediately isolate suspected coronavirus cases on trains, airplanes, and buses.

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