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China virus fears grow, human transmission confirmed

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Chinese authorities have confirmed that the outbreak of a deadly new virus could be spread through human contact.

Hundreds have contracted the virus over the last few days.

Medical staff have been infected, and several people have died.

A chilling update on the coronavirus - which began in Wuhan - a city of 11 million people.

The majority of infections have been detected in China.

But the virus has already spread to other countries - including Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines - as millions travel for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Scientists in Hong Kong have warned of the 'super spreader' disease.

And authorities are adamant the virus will be brought under control.

The health scare has brought back bad memories of SARS - another coronavirus that broke out in China in the early 2000s, which killed nearly 800 in a global pandemic.

Health authorities across the globe have stepped up their screening of travelers arriving from China.

And some Chinese pharmacies have even run out of face masks - as people stock up ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The origin of the virus has yet to be identified, but the World Health Organization suspects the primary source to be animal.

Chinese officials say they have linked the outbreak to a seafood market in Wuhan.

The virus can cause pneumonia, and symptoms include fever and difficulty in breathing.

The outbreak has also sent shivers through financial markets.

The WHO called a meeting for Wednesday (January 22) to consider declaring an international health emergency.

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