Boom is a concern, but death rate far below SARs so far

White House considers ban on China flights amid coronavirus outbreak

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Confirmed coronavirus cases boomed this week as China altered its method for counting, but thus far the death rate from the disease remains far below the SARS epidemic that rattled the global health system almost two decades ago. 

Also Thursday, U.S. health officials confirmed a 15th U.S. case.

The death toll from the new coronavirus that surfaced in China late last year rose to 1,370 on Thursday. All but three of the deaths have been in mainland China.

China previously only counted cases confirmed when a person tested positive for the virus. Chest imaging and other medical diagnoses are now included.

“While this may be a sensitive technique to look for an infection with the new coronavirus, it may also identify patients with other similar viral illnesses including the flu, artificially inflating the actual number of cases,” said Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

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