After health expert in China said new coronavirus was "under control," he himself became infected

Twelve days ago, a Beijing pulmonary expert traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of China's coronavirus, and declared on China Central Television that the outbreak was "under control" and a "mild condition." Eleven days later, according to The New York Times, he himself became infected with the virus.

From The Japan Times:

Wang Guangfa, who heads the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Beijing’s Peking University First Hospital, was part of a team of experts that earlier this month visited Wuhan, where the virus emerged...

Wang, who conducted research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, said he was receiving treatment and would receive an injection soon. He did not give details on how he may have been infected.

"I was diagnosed and my condition is fine,” Wang said on Cable TV yesterday. "I don’t want everyone to put too much attention on my condition.”

This SARS-like coronavirus has mostly infected people in Wuhan, but has also spread to other regions of the country, as well as Japan, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, the United States, Hong Kong, and Macau. When blogged about on Boing Boing just yesterday, the virus had infected almost 300 people and caused six deaths. And then last night when blogged again, the number changed to 440 people with nine deaths. As of right now, so far, the numbers have changed again to 540 and 17.

Image: By Hwangxiheng - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Read the rest

Never-before-seen virus could be cause of pneumonia outbreak in China

A strain of viral pneumonia that causes troubled breathing and invasive lung lesions has affected at least 59 people in China. It's suspected that the culprit is a never-before-seen virus that infected humans who visited an unsanitary wild animal market, reports The Washington Post. It's not yet known if the disease can pass from human to human.

Since mid-December, 59 people have been diagnosed with viral pneumonia of “unknown cause” — including seven who are critically ill, according to Wuhan’s health commission. The officials said an additional 163 people who have come into close contact with the infected have been placed under close observation. No deaths have been reported.

Several of the patients worked at Wuhan’s South China Seafood City, said the authorities, who shut down the market Jan. 1 to carry out daily disinfections. The 1,000-stall bazaar sold not only seafood but marmots, spotted deer and venomous snakes, according to state media reports that described the market as “filthy and messy.”

Videos from Wuhan showed the market barricaded in recent days and guarded by police wearing surgical masks.

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How to make potentially lethal prison wine

The recent deadly outbreak of nacho botulism reminded me of another big botulism outbreak caused by pruno, aka prison wine. Brian and Jason from Modern Rogue show how to make pruno, showing why it could easily contain botulism. Read the rest

What you need to know now about H7N9 bird flu

Looking for a quick rundown of basic information about the new strain of bird flu that's infecting people in China? The Toronto Star's Jennifer Yang has a great, one-page breakdown that will get you caught up on just about everything you need to know — including how scared you should be. For the record, the answer to that is complicated. We aren't near a pandemic yet. But we do need to get a better handle on understanding how this virus works so we can stop it from spreading. It's a serious situation and the news is not all good news. But we don't seem to be at a point where anybody outside of China and the international public health community should be in an urgent crisis mode. Read the rest