China virus outbreak may wallop economy, financial markets
BANGKOK — Reports that a new coronavirus that has afflicted hundreds of people in central China can spread between humans has rattled financial markets and raised concern it might wallop the economy just as it appears to be regaining momentum. Health authorities across Asia are stepping up surveillance and other precautions to prevent a repeat of the disruptions and deaths during the 2003 SARS crisis. Such outbreaks can cause tens of billions of dollars of losses from reduced travel and spending.
The first cases of the new coronavirus were linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, suggesting animal-to-human transmission, but the illness is now thought to also be spread between humans. As of Wednesday, more than 500 people were confirmed sick and 17 reported dead from the illness.