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Coronavirus

Study suggesting earlier human transmission fuels public anger

Findings by Chinese researchers contradict government accounts

A woman wearing a face mask uses her cellphone as she walks outside Beijing Railway Station as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus on Jan. 30.   © Reuters

TOKYO/HONG KONG -- The deadly new coronavirus from Wuhan was spreading from person to person as early as mid-December, weeks before China officially confirmed such transmission, government-funded Chinese researchers report in a top American medical journal.

The paper in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzes data on the first 425 confirmed cases in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated.

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