Coronavirus update: As many as 63 US cases suspected as disease also spreads to Europe
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Coronavirus update: As many as 63 US cases suspected as disease also spreads to Europe

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A second confirmed U.S. infection of a new viral respiratory illness was reported in Illinois and up to 63 cases are suspected across the country, news agencies reported Friday.

Listen to health experts outline the virus threat

US state and national health officials on Friday announced steps to confront the global spread of a novel coronavirus that emerged in China last month. Meanwhile, France confirmed threevcases of the deadly new virus from China, the first reports in Europe.

The death toll in China reached 41 on Friday. Hundreds of cases of the illness have been confirmed in China since an outbreak began last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. Others have evolved into more severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS, although so far the new virus does not appear to be nearly as deadly or contagious.

WHAT'S NEW TODAY

— The number of confirmed cases rose to 830. Twenty-six people have died, including the first two deaths outside Hubei.

— After Wuhan halted all outbound flights, trains, buses and ferries on Thursday, 12 other cities in the central province of Hubei followed suit, with a combined population of more than 36 million now under lockdown.

— Wuhan is swiftly building a 1,000-bed hospital dedicated to the disease. The prefabricated structure, slated for completion Feb. 3, is modeled after the Xiaotangshan SARS hospital in Beijing. The SARS hospital was built from scratch in 2003 and featured individual isolation units that looked like rows of tiny cabins.

—- The new virus claimed its youngest victim. A 36-year-old man in Hubei was admitted to the hospital earlier this month after suffering from fever for three days. He died following a sudden cardiac arrest on Jan. 23.

— South Korea and Japan both detected their second cases, and Singapore two more for a total of three.

— Hospitals in Wuhan are grappling with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies. At least eight hospitals in Wuhan issued public calls for donations of masks, goggles, gowns and other protective medical gear, according to notices online.

Read on for more detailed coverage.

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