Doctor who raised the alarm on coronavirus dies


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Li Wenliang, the doctor who first raised the alarm about the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV, has died after contracting the virus from a patient, according to the Chinese government-run Global Times newspaper.

According to reports, Li began showing symptoms of infection on January 10 and was hospitalised on January 12. On February 1, he tested positive for 2019-nCoV and died in the early hours of February 7.

Li (34) was one of a number of supposed "rumourmongers" detained by police for spreading news about the virus, after he posted a social media post in December warning about a potential SARS-like virus spreading in Wuhan, where he worked.

On the same day in December that Li reported the outbreak, an emergency notice was issued by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, informing the city's medical institutions that a series of patients from a seafood wholesale market had an "unknown pneumonia". The notice came with a warning that "any organisations or individuals are not allowed to release treatment information to the public without authorisation."

On December 31, Wuhan's health authorities finally announced the outbreak and alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As of 10 February, 40,553 laboratory-confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV infection had been reported, including 910 deaths.