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Coronavirus Confirmed to Spread Through Human Contact

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Officials in Wuhan have today confirmed 291 cases of a dangerous new coronavirus, with 270 originating in the province of Hubei, and the remaining spread across Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. This is a large leap from Sunday's official count of 62. It's possible that the total may be as high as 304, but some cases are still being investigated. Now, officials have announced that the virus is transmitted from human to human, and may be an international health risk, pending investigation by the WHO and China's National Health Commission.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and a cough, and could look much like the flu or a cold. The term 'coronavirus' refers to a family of viruses instead of a single disease, so the population is encouraged not to panic if they experience these symptoms. International travel does make transmission more likely, with the inevitable close contact to other passengers, but many nations, including China and the United States, have begun screening their international travelers for the disease. NBC reported that "the Centers for Disease Control said Monday that it was closely monitoring the outbreak, but the general risk for the American public was still deemed to be low."

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