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Virus cases up after change in counting method

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Virus cases up after change in counting method

4 Photos A doctor checks the conditions of a patient in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. China on Thursday reported 254 new deaths and a spike in virus cases of 15,152. (Chinatopix Via AP) (Chinatopix) BEIJING — China reported a surge in deaths and infections from a new virus Thursday after changing the way the count is tallied, further clouding an epidemic that has stirred fear as it spread to more than two dozen countries.

The spike came after two days in which the number of new cases dropped and brought little clarity for those desperate to understand the trajectory of the outbreak.

“What we need is some consistency over time to give us an idea of what’s actually happening,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in the United States. “Is transmission happening or is it not?”

The answer has proved frustratingly elusive despite the official reports.

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The death toll in China from the disease known as COVID-19 reached 1,367, up 254 from a day earlier, and the number of confirmed cases jumped to 59,804, up 15,152.

Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, said the dramatic increase was due to a revised way of counting cases and cautioned it did not represent a sudden surge in new infections.

“This increase you’ve all seen in the last 24 hours is largely down to how cases are being diagnosed and reported,” he said, noting that the […]

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