SARS-like pneumonia viruses may have spread to thousands of people

SARS-like pneumonia viruses may have spread to thousands of people


An outbreak of the virus is currently taking place in China and has killed two people, now thought to have spread to thousands of people, the scientists said.

Currently only 50 cases have been confirmed, but British experts estimate the number could reach 1,700, the BBC reported. So far, respiratory illness in Wuhan city since December 2019 has killed two people.

The Global Center for Research on Infectious Diseases MRC at Imperial College London published a study on January 17, saying the number of people suffering from the disease could be up to “a total of 1,723 people” up to date. 12/1. Scientists working at the MRC Center often advise agencies such as the British government and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hospital in Wuhan where 2 deaths have been confirmed

On January 18, Chinese authorities announced they had discovered four more cases of pneumonia during the outbreak believed to have been caused by a new strain of Corona virus. Corona virus is a very large virus family, but only 6 viruses are known to infect humans. This new virus could be the seventh virus.

This family of viruses can cause milder illnesses including the common cold, but can also lead to serious illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a disease that has killed 774 of 8,098 people became ill during an outbreak in China in 2002. Results of genetic code analysis show that the new virus is more closely related to SARS than any of the corona viruses.

SARS-like pneumonia viruses may have spread to thousands of people
The seafood market in Wuhan, which is said to be the source of a new outbreak of pneumonia virus

While the outbreak was concentrated mainly in Wuhan City in central China, there have been 2 cases detected in Thailand and 1 case in Japan. Scientists have investigated the scale of the disease through knowledge of confirmed cases in other countries.

“I am much more worried than a week ago,” Neil Neil told the BBC. He said he was worried about the spread of the disease and that it had moved to other countries. “The fact that Wuhan has exported three cases of infection to other countries means that there will be many more cases that have not been reported,” he added.

SARS-like pneumonia viruses may have spread to thousands of people
The notice board for passengers coming from Wuhan is located at Narita Airport, Japan

While it is impossible to get an exact number, creating an outbreak plan based on the virus, the local population, and the flight data, can provide an estimate. Wuhan has a population of 19 million, but only about 3,400 people move abroad every day.

Chinese officials still confirm that there has been no case of human-to-human spread. Instead, they assumed that the virus came from infected animals, especially from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan.

The outbreak occurred just before the lunar new year when many Chinese would move home or go abroad to celebrate the holiday. The Chinese government estimates that passengers will make a total of 440 million trips by rail and 79 million by air during this period.

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