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China lifts virus death toll to nine and warns of mutation risks

Illness spreads to Macao and US, while Hong Kong reports 'highly suspected' case

China's Health Commission Vice Minister Li Bin attends a news conference on prevention and control of new coronavirus related pneumonia in Beijing on Jan. 22.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- The death toll from a new pneumonialike virus originating in China rose to nine on Wednesday, with more than 440 people affected across the country. Meanwhile, newly confirmed cases in Macao and the U.S., and a suspected case in Hong Kong, underscored concerns over how the coronavirus is spreading ahead of the heavily traveled Lunar New Year holidays.

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