China coronavirus: Death toll rises as disease spreads

The death toll from a newly-discovered coronavirus in China has risen to 41 on the day of the Lunar New Year.

Another 15 deaths in the Hubei province, where the outbreak began, were announced on Saturday.

Health officials are struggling to contain the outbreak as millions of people travel for the Chinese new year, one of the most important events. Many festivities have been cancelled.

There are now more than 1,200 confirmed cases in China.

The virus has also spread to Europe, with three cases confirmed in France. The UK is investigating a number of suspected cases, with officials trying to trace around 2,000 people who have recently flown to the UK from Hubei province.

Australia has also confirmed several cases in Melbourne and Sydney, joining a handful of countries treating patients.

The coronavirus, previously unknown to science, causes severe acute respiratory infection with symptoms including a fever and cough. There is no specific cure or vaccine.

                                                 

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