January 22 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 10:05 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020
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11:19 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Face masks are made mandatory in Wuhan

From Yong Xiong in Wuhan

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

It is now mandatory to wear face masks in public places in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged last month.  

Wuhan's municipal government published a notice on Wednesday, stating that all public places are to require customers to wear masks and owners are to prevent people from entering if they are not. 

It reads:

People who don't obey the requirements shall be dealt with by authorities in accordance with their respective duties and laws.

The public places include: 

  • Hotels, restaurants, guest houses, cafes, bars, tea houses
  • Public baths, barbers, beauty shops
  • Theaters, video halls, entertainment halls, dance halls, concert halls
  • Stadiums, swimming pools, parks
  • Exhibition halls, museums, art galleries, libraries
  • Shopping malls, bookstores
  • Waiting rooms, public transportation
  • Other public places where crowds gather
10:56 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Authorities think the outbreak started here

The first patient infected with the coronavirus developed symptoms in Wuhan on December 8, according to Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.

Wuhan is the largest city in central China and a major transportation hub. Officials in China have linked the viral infections to a Wuhan seafood and wildlife market, which has been closed since January 1 to prevent further spread of the illness.

10:38 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

One person under observation in Mexico

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias and CNN en Español's Florencia Trucco

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that one person in the country is “under observation” for possibly having the Wuhan coronavirus. He added that the case has not been confirmed.

Speaking at a daily press conference on Wednesday, Lopez Obrador said the person is in Tamaulipas.

An earlier suspected case in Mexico was determined not to be the Wuhan virus.

10:18 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Death toll in China rises to 17

From CNN’s Steven Jiang in Beijing

Eight new deaths from the coronavirus were confirmed in the province of Hubei on Wednesday, according to the health authority in Wuhan, the provincial capital.

The new deaths bring the total number of people who died to 17.

Additionally the number of confirmed cases has risen to 444 in Hubei, bringing the total across mainland China to 509 according to the national health authority and the Wuhan Health Commission. 

9:48 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Scientists estimate more than 4,000 coronavirus cases in Wuhan city alone

From CNN Health’s Meera Senthilingam

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Scientists at Imperial College London estimate that around 4,000 people are likely to have been infected by the new coronavirus in Wuhan city alone as of January 18.

Official numbers show nine people have died and at least 479 have been infected by the outbreak, but a team at Imperial believes these numbers are a gross underestimate. Mild symptoms and delayed onset mean many cases are likely to have been undetected. 

The new estimates are more than double previous estimates the scientists released last week, which suggested 1,723 people were likely to have been infected by January 12. The revision takes into account new information available this week, such as reports of exported cases in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

9:20 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Hong Kong has first "highly suspicious" coronavirus case

From CNN’s Anna Kam in Hong Kong and Chris Liakos in London

Markus Schreiber/AP
Markus Schreiber/AP

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that Hong Kong has identified a first “highly suspicious” coronavirus case.

In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on stage in Davos, Lam said:

We have the first case of highly suspicious infection in Hong Kong from a passenger from Wuhan or from Wuhan via another city coming to Hong Kong."

Lam said she has asked the health authorities to be on the guard. She added that the "rapid flow of people across the border" makes Hong Kong vulnerable.

“The most important point is to keep people informed so openness and transparency are important features in any public health system,” she said.

9:10 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Coronavirus explained: What you need to know

From CNN's Jen Christensen

The human coronavirus is seen in this image made from a transmission electron microscopy view.
The human coronavirus is seen in this image made from a transmission electron microscopy view. Cavallini James/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A new Chinese coronavirus has infected hundreds since the outbreak began in Wuhan in December. Scientist Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it likely started in an animal and spread to humans.

Here is what you need to know:

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Coronavirus symptoms

The viruses can make people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. Coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days.

For those with a weakened immune system, there's a chance the virus could cause much more serious respiratory tract illness like a pneumonia or bronchitis

How it spreads

Viruses can spread from human contact with animals. When it comes to human-to-human transmission of the viruses, often it happens when someone comes into contact with the infected person's secretions.

Coronavirus treatment

There is no specific treatment. Most of the time, symptoms will go away on their own. Doctors can relieve symptoms by prescribing a pain or fever medication.

How can you can prevent it

There is no vaccine to protect against this family of viruses, at least not yet. Trials for a MERS vaccine are underway.

You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by avoiding people who are sick. Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds. If you are sick, stay home and avoid crowds and contact with others.

Read the full story here.

8:58 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

Inside ground zero of Wuhan's coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's David Culver, Yong Xiong and Nectar Gan

A worker disinfects a railway station in Wuhan, China, on Wednesday, January 22.
A worker disinfects a railway station in Wuhan, China, on Wednesday, January 22. Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The Lunar New Year -- the most important festival in the Chinese calendar -- is just three days away, but in the Chinese city of Wuhan, there are few reasons to celebrate.

A deadly outbreak of a new coronavirus emerged in this city of 11 million people last month. Within weeks, the virus has killed nine people, sickened hundreds and spread as far as the United States.

Watch this video to see the atmosphere in the city.

8:40 a.m. ET, January 22, 2020

WHO emergency meeting under way

Experts and representatives from the World Health Organization have gathered for an emergency meeting to discuss the coronavirus outbreak.