The overnight death toll for the still deadly potent coronavirus has climbed by 45 to 294 with most of the reported deaths occurring in Hubei province, where it all started in December.
Last night, another 45 infected victims succumbed to the infection. About 2,000 new patients were recorded as of Saturday in Hubei province alone, bringing the total cases of confirmed coronavirus victims in mainland China to more than 13,700.
Globally, the disease has now infected almost 300 people in a growing number of countries as health exerts still struggle to come to grips with the disease which has spreading rapidly with no set pattern with human to human cases increasing, albeit slightly each day.
Chinese health authorities are still trying to determine the origin of the virus, which they say came from a seafood market in Wuhan where wildlife was also traded illegally.
The WHO also says an animal source appears most likely to be the primary source of the outbreak.
Snakes – including the Chinese krait and the cobra – may be the source of the newly discovered virus, according to Chinese scientists.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States said that the coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with coronavirus or 2019-nCoV.
The CDC added that though both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people, the complete clinical picture with regard to the coronavirus is still not fully clear. Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
They said that symptoms can be very difficult to detect and that many of those who died from the disease had underlying health conditions that involved weakened immune systems, like hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.