Chinese authorities say the coronavirus that began spreading in the city of Wuhan has now killed 26 people, up from 17 on Thursday, and sickened 830.
As Chinese New Year gets underway — traditionally a week when hundreds of millions of Chinese move around the country to visit relatives — the government has aggressively curtailed travel in and out of major cities with collective populations of more than 30 million people.
The virus is disrupting life in China even more broadly. Authorities have shut down many tourist attractions, including Shanghai Disney.
As the number of cases surge, Wuhan was struggling to meet the demand of infected patients at hospitals. In a video circulated on Twitter, a fleet of bulldozers hastily construct a new hospital, which is — remarkably — expected to be ready by early February.
A second American case of coronavirus was confirmed in Chicago on Friday. The patient, a woman in her 60s who is not in severe condition, had recently traveled from Wuhan. The first American case had been confirmed in Washington state earlier in the week.
The virus has spread to nine countries beyond China, though it has not killed anyone in any of them. Most of the deaths attributable to the virus have been been among older men with preexisting health problems, but a healthy young man was reported to have died of it in Wuhan, which will likely raise more fear across China.