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China confirms 139 new cases of pneumonia as virus spreads to other cities

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SHANGHAI — China on Monday reported 139 new cases of pneumonia over the weekend, caused by the outbreak of a new coronavirus strain that medical experts are still struggling to understand.

Beijing’s Daxing health commission confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, while Guangdong Province’s health commission confirmed one case, marking the first instances of the illness spreading beyond Wuhan, the city where cases were first discovered.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement that 136 cases of coronavirus emerged in the city on Saturday and Sunday.

The new virus belongs to the large family of coronaviruses that includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak that also started in China.

The United States said on Friday that it would begin screening efforts at three U.S. airports to track travellers from Wuhan who may have symptoms of the fever.

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