|By Toby Helm, Emma Graham-Harrison & Robin McKie|
By late December last year, doctors in the central Chinese city of Wuhan were starting to worry about patients quarantined in their hospitals suffering from an unusual type of pneumonia.
As the mystery illness spread in one of China’s major industrial hubs, some tried to warn their colleagues to take extra care at work, because the disease resembled Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome), the deadly respiratory disease that had killed hundreds of people across the region in 2002-03 after a government cover-up.
One of those who tried to raise the alarm, though only among a few medical school classmates, was a 33-year-old Chinese ophthalmologist, Li Wenliang. Seven people were in isolation at his hospital, he said, and the disease appeared to be a coronavirus, from the same family as Sars.
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