China virus cases spike, 17 new infections reported

(Reuters) – China reported 17 more cases of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus strain on Sunday, stoking worries of it spreading as the country gears up to celebrate Chinese lunar new year when hundreds of millions of people travel.

Three of the patients are seriously ill, according to a statement issued by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.

The total number of patients infected by the disease in China, all of them in central Chinese city of Wuhan, has now climbed to 62. Two have died.

Following warnings by the World Health Organization of a wider outbreak, airport authorities in the United States as well as most Asian nations, including Japan, Thailand, south Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, are screening passengers from Wuhan.

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