BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Preliminary lab results showed a new-type coronavirus had caused the viral pneumonia in central China's Wuhan, according to Xu Jianguo, a Chinese expert who led a team to evaluate the pathogen test results.
The newly detected coronavirus is different from known human coronavirus species, including the viruses that had caused SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), said Xu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Xu said the new virus needs further research and understanding.
A total of 59 viral pneumonia cases were reported by late Sunday, with seven patients in serious condition. Eight patients have been cured of the disease and were discharged from hospital Wednesday, local health authorities said.