Untraceable Covid-19 virus in three nations spooks world

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Vienna - Virus shuts 12 Italian towns and Iran schools, spreads in South Korea.


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Published: Sun 23 Feb 2020, 11:24 PM

In the coronavirus outbreak, it's not the rising numbers that are worrying experts: It's that they can't trace where some disease clusters started.
In South Korea, Singapore and Iran, clusters of infections are leading to a jump in cases of the new viral illness outside China.
World Health Organisation officials said China's crackdown on parts of the country bought time for the rest of the world to prepare for the new virus. But as hot spots emerge around the globe, trouble finding each source - the first patient who sparks every new cluster - might signal the disease has begun spreading too widely for tried-and-true public health steps to stamp it out.
A dozen northern Italian towns were on effective lockdown on Saturday after the virus claimed two lives and sickened an increasing number of people who had no direct links to the origin of the virus.
Iran ordered the closure of schools and universities in two cities hit by a coronavirus outbreak that has killed six people in the Islamic republic - the most outside the Far East.
South Korea reported an eight-fold jump in viral infections in four days to 433, most of them linked to a church and a hospital in and around the nation's fourth-largest city. 

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