Americans travelling in China should avoid animals and contact with sick people as the country grapples with a mystery pneumonia outbreak, the US embassy in China said yesterday. The viral illness was first reported last week in Wuhan, a central Chinese city with a population of over 11 million, and has since grown to at least 59 cases. Chinese health officials have ruled out a resurgence of the highly contagious SARS virus, which killed hundreds more than a decade ago, after fears spread online that it had made a comeback. The mystery disease has has prompted concerns in Taiwan, Hong Kong.
So far, none of the 59 patients infected with pneumonia have died though seven are seriously ill, according to Wuhan’s health commission.