Cases of new viral respiratory illness rise sharply in China

International

Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk through a shopping district in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. Japan’s government said Thursday a man treated for pneumonia after returning from China has tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese state media say the city of Wuhan is shutting down outbound flights and trains as the country battles the spread of a new virus that has sickened hundreds and killed 17.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that the city also asked people not to leave the city without specific reasons. The illness comes from a new coronavirus that experts say may be spread through the respiratory tract and may be mutating.

An expert meeting convened by the World Health Organization on Wednesday will advise whether to declare the outbreak a global health crisis.  

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