Death toll in China's coronavirus goes up to 9

The death toll in China's novel coronavirus virus has gone up to nine with the confirmed infection cases sharply rising to 440, the health authorities said, warning that the disease could spread further in the ongoing Chinese holiday season during which millions travel at home and abroad.

The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China is a novel strain and not seen before.

Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus strain include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the WHO.

The Chinese health authorities announced that 440 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had been reported in 13 provincial-level regions in the country by the end of Tuesday.

The cases had resulted in nine deaths, all in central China's Hubei Province, Li Bin, deputy director of the National Health Commission told at a press conference on Wednesday.

Altogether 149 new confirmed cases were reported on Tuesday, Li added.