Is the government hiding Wuhan virus numbers?

There have been a number of worrying reports recently about the outbreak of a new type of coronavirus that started in Wuhan in late December. Two people were confirmed this week to have died in Wuhan from the virus, and the first cases outside of China were reported in Thailand and Japan. Today, Thailand confirmed a second case.

Though the sickness does not appear to be anywhere near as deadly as the SARS epidemic of 2003, it is starting to look like government transparency has not improved. Several acute observers on Twitter have noted the discrepancy between the number of infected reported within China, which has not increased from the official count of 41 (in Chinese) in days, and the accumulating reports of infections abroad.

We still do not know the exact path of infection for this virus, though many public health officials worry it can be passed between humans, and more countries are taking precautions. Today, that included the U.S., per the New York Times:

Around 5,000 passengers are expected to arrive from Wuhan in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles over the next few weeks, and they will all be screened for the virus, said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the C.D.C.’s division of global migration and quarantine.

With the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays, Thailand has the most to worry about. The Thaiger reports:

Health authorities in Thailand announced on Wednesday they are stepping up screening of passengers arriving by air ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, when 800,000 Chinese tourists are expected to head for the Kingdom.

—Lucas Niewenhuis