A smallpox case in China has prompted authorities to launch an investigation into a virus that has been circulating in the country for years, officials said Wednesday.
Smallpox, which is transmitted through the nose or mouth and causes acute pain, is one of the most common and lethal of all viruses.
The virus is spread through droplets of infected saliva or mucus and is particularly deadly when left untreated.
It is not clear if the case in the western province of Guangdong is related to the smallpox cases in the U.S. and Europe, or if it is linked to the outbreak in Guangdang.
But Guangdans have been increasingly showing symptoms in recent months.
Some people have reported experiencing fever, chills and muscle aches, and others have been having seizures and even coma.
The country’s health ministry announced earlier this week that it was investigating the case as an outbreak linked to smallpox.
The ministry said it was also looking into the origin of the virus.
The Chinese government has said it has not detected the virus in China.
But the country’s top infectious disease expert has said the virus could have entered the country through travelers, including people who have been sickened in other countries.
The government is working to determine the source of the outbreak, he said.
China’s Ministry of Public Health and Family Planning said in a statement that the Ministry of Health has received the initial report and is taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of public health.
Authorities have been tight-lipped about the case.
The head of the state’s public health department, Wang Zhenyu, said in an interview with state television on Tuesday that the incident had not been investigated.
But the Guangdian government has released photos of a hospital bed that appears to be the source hospital.
It showed a bed with white sheets, and one of them showed a white tube.
Officials said they had found a strain of smallpox, but could not say whether it was the same as that found in the United States.
They have not yet determined the type of virus, but they said the strain was similar to that seen in China’s last smallpox pandemic in 2006-07.
We have not found any evidence that this particular virus has reached China, said Zhou Yaping, head of a special investigation committee that was set up in the case and who is also a professor at the University of Guizhou.