A taxi driver in Brighton was reportedly told to self-isolate after coming into contact with a coronavirus patient, while an NHS A,amp;E doctor in Worthing was confirmed today as one of eight Britons affected by the deadly infection.
It is believed that the unidentified taxi driver is among dozens of people that health officials have frantically tracked after six people in Brighton were diagnosed with the virus.
He is not believed to have contacted Steve Walsh or Dr. Catriona Greenwood, the only two patients named so far, but one of the other four cases in the coastal city.
Leading scientists tracking the growing outbreak have already asked ministers to disclose more details about the cases in Brighton, and said earlier this week "it would be useful to know,quot; Walsh's movements.
It was also revealed today that a doctor working in a busy A,amp;E department for two days before getting sick is one of those who tested positive for the coronavirus, which today has been called SARS-CoV-2.
The doctor, who has not been identified, treated a "small number,quot; of patients at Worthing Hospital on February 4 and 5 before they got sick and "isolated,quot; to contain the possible spread of the virus.
It is said that patients and staff are contacted and informed of what symptoms they should look for, but a doctor working in the A,amp;E department there said they heard about the case in their local newspaper.
"I had to go to work this morning knowing that someone at A,amp;E had tested positive for coronavirus, but they hadn't told us anything," said the unidentified doctor today.
Nine schools in the Brighton area have been closed after staff and students have received quarantines in their homes. A care home for visitors was also closed after a doctor who went there was diagnosed with the virus, and yesterday two GP surgeries were closed for deep cleaning, but since then they have been reopened.
NHS staff is at the center of the coronavirus crisis after two GPs became infected with the virus after a ski trip to the French Alps with Walsh last month. The A,amp;E doctor is the second doctor confirmed to test positive for the virus after Dr. Greenwood, also known by her married name Saynor, became ill last week.
In other events related to the outbreak today, the Thai Ministry of Health has insisted that the alleged British drug trafficker who collapsed in prison with an alleged coronavirus was able to travel before being extradited to the United Kingdom on January 27.
The virus has now infected more than 45,000 people worldwide, 99 percent of them within China, and killed a total of 1,116.
A doctor who spent two days working in the A,amp;E department of Worthing Hospital tested positive for coronavirus.
An isolation capsule is shown at the Eastbourne District General Hospital in Sussex, 20 miles west of Brighton. NHS chiefs told all hospitals in England to establish isolation booths from which people suspected of having coronaviruses can talk to medical specialists by phone while staying away from the general public in the hospital.
Dr. Catriona Saynor (photo on the left) works as an alternate at the Oak County Medical Center in Brighton, which was closed this week. It is also said that her husband Bob and their nine-year-old son were confirmed with coronavirus after the ski break with Super British spreader
Mark Rumble, 31, of Oxfordshire, with Ricky Hatton in Thailand, is believed to be the prisoner who yesterday collapsed with an alleged case of coronavirus.
Nurses "including a pregnant woman are being held in quarantine,quot;
The nurses had treated a woman at The Haven hospital in Mill View, Hove, who is believed to have the coronavirus.
Two nurses, including one who is pregnant, are reported to be quarantined by force after treating a patient suspected of having coronavirus.
Nurses had treated a woman at The Haven Hospital in Mill View, Hove, who is believed to have recently returned from vacation in Hong Kong, according to Brighton Argus.
They are being kept in a room next to the patient, a source said.
The nurses have remained in the room since 8:30 p.m. Last night, after treating the woman in a new case suspected of the deadly disease.
Another source said the nurses were working a night shift in the mental health room when they were told they could not leave.
He arrived as a prisoner in the center of an alleged outbreak of a coronavirus in a high-security prison that revealed himself as a suspected drug lord who was extradited back to the United Kingdom from Thailand on January 27.
Mark Rumble, 31, of Oxfordshire, was sent back to the United Kingdom to face charges of a conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
Rumble reportedly collapsed in his cell at HMP Bullingdon, near Bicester on Monday, while a second inmate developed flu-like symptoms and another third is being examined for the disease.
Meanwhile, a prison nurse who first verified Rumble has "self-isolated,quot; at home.
The Thai ministry now claims that Rumble had no symptoms of the virus never seen before, which has hit more than 45,000 people worldwide, when the test was done before flying back to the UK.
And he says he passed all the standard health checks that prisoners pass before they are extradited, claiming he would not have been allowed to travel if he had failed.
A total of 33 cases of the coronavirus, now called COVID-19, have been diagnosed in Thailand: it was the first country outside of China to declare cases, on January 13. In total, more than 1,100 people died from the disease.
Hundreds of inmates have been confined in their cells, with the prison caught in panic.
The results of Rumble and the other potentially infected prisoners are expected within 24 hours.
A source said: & # 39; The entire wing is currently closed and will be for the next 72 hours or so.
"That means the prisoners will remain in their cells while they last and will be fed food on plates pushed through the hatches of their doors."
Another source told the Sun: & # 39; The jail has been in panic mode since the first person collapsed.
& # 39; Several hundred prisoners in the C wing are locked up and cannot leave their cells. A prison is the worst place for any outbreak because everyone is in such close places & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Rumble will appear at Oxford Crown Court on February 20, where he is expected to plead not guilty, but that appearance could now be in doubt.
The results of Rumble and the other two potentially infected inmates at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire are expected within 24 hours.
Alleged British drug trafficker Mark John Rumble (left) arrested by Thai police officers in a house in Pattaya
Rumble was rushed to the hospital and it was understood that he was isolated in the prison's health care wing, but is currently being treated in a "specialized hospital,quot; outside the prison walls.
The prison source told MailOnline: & # 39; A prisoner was found collapsed in his cell last night. It is understood that he recently arrived in Bullingdon from a jail in Thailand under a transfer scheme.
& # 39; You are being treated in a specialized hospital outside the prison. The other two prisoners showed flu-like symptoms and are in the wing of the Bullingdon hospital.
The three prisoners were in individual cells. A nurse who was very close and in contact with the collapsed prisoner has isolated herself as a precaution.
Public Health England officials were seen in prison and doctors in suits of hazardous materials entered the closed wing.
The prison houses more than 1,000 prisoners, including sex offenders and prisoners in pretrial detention. He appeared in a four-part ITV documentary about life behind bars.
Rumble was arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, last November on suspicion of drug crimes.
He is scheduled to appear at the Oxford Crown Court on February 20, where he is expected to plead not guilty. He is currently in custody.
During his time in Thailand, he posted photos of himself posing with celebrities, including boxing legend Ricky Hatton.
Steve Walsh, a Brighton businessman, unknowingly, transmitted the coronavirus to at least another 11 people after being infected in Singapore, but he did not get sick himself. He is in the London hospital
Stephen Walsh, 53, inadvertently brought coronovirus to the United Kingdom after attending a conference in Singapore. Health officials told the people he had been in contact with & # 39; self-isolate & # 39;
MailOnline has found at least ten sites in Brighton linked to the city's super spreader or infected medical friend, including two schools, two health centers and a nursing home, as residents of the area accused public health chiefs of deprive them of information.
Walsh broke his silence after discovering that he was the source of an extraordinary network of cases that spread throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.
Patient risk & # 39; silent carriers & # 39;
Three patients tested positive for the coronavirus after initially receiving full authorization, which increases the possibility of & # 39; silent carriers & # 39 ;.
The cases, reported yesterday in the US UU. And Japan increases the possibility that people can become infected with the disease by believing they are healthy.
It also calls into question the accuracy of the test, which since the beginning of the outbreak has yielded negative results for 1,350 patients in the United Kingdom.
However, scientists claim that such occurrences are & # 39; common & # 39; when patients have not yet entered the & # 39; diagnostic window & # 39 ;, when infections are large enough to be detected.
Professor Richard Tedder, a virus expert at Imperial College London, explained that if people were tested very soon after being infected, there may not be enough viruses in the body to appear in the analysis.
He stressed that "in the balance of probability,quot;, it is unlikely that these patients are infectious at that time.
One case involved a 50-year-old Japanese man who had fled the Chinese city of Wuhan on an evacuation flight on January 29.
He was examined twice and both were negative, but a third test on Monday, 12 days later, was positive. He has been isolated in his hotel room since his return from China.
The second man, who is around 40 years old, returned from Wuhan on January 30 and initially tested negative but was diagnosed with the virus on Monday. It is also understood that he was isolated.
Professor Tedder, visiting professor of medical virology, said: & # 39; This is inevitable when people are sampled shortly after being infected. This is common to all infections: a so-called diagnostic window.
"I don't think we should be too worried about these cases."
Speaking from an NHS isolation room, the sales executive revealed yesterday that he had "fully recovered,quot; and insisted that he acted as quickly as possible once he realized the threat he posed.
Two surgeries of family doctors in his hometown, Brighton and Hove, were closed and a nursing home was placed yesterday as a precaution.
Meanwhile, several schools have been told to quarantine. One of Brighton's largest high schools told parents yesterday that a "member of their community,quot; was in quarantine due to suspicion of contact with the coronavirus.
Varndean School, which has about 1,300 students, was one of the city's schools to announce that Public Heath England had told someone to connect with him to "isolate,quot; himself for 14 days.
The parents of Cottesmore St Mary's Catholic elementary school in Hove recounted their shock after learning that two students, who were believed to be Mr. Walsh's children, were in quarantine.
Carden Elementary School and Hollingbury School, which is located opposite the Oak County Medical Center, are the last two, according to Brighton and Hove News.
Two Eastbourne schools, Ocklynge High School and Ratton High School, also sent emails to parents after a teacher was told to be isolated for fifteen days.
Brighton super broadcaster Steve Walsh, a leading puppy scout and father of two children from Hove, whom the children call Shere Khan after the Jungle Book tiger, contracted the virus after traveling to a business conference in Singapore in the middle of January.
But after almost two weeks of carrying the virus, authorities discovered that it was linked to at least 11 cases in the United Kingdom, France and Spain. Yesterday, authorities continued to track the contacts of Walsh and his five associates, including two GPs, who also tested positive in the Brighton area in recent days.
One of the two infected doctors also worked in the A,amp;E unit at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, who last night contacted patients and staff to tell them what precautions they should take.
The doctor, who has not been identified, treated a "small number,quot; of patients in the hospital on February 4 and 5 before they felt bad and "self-insulated."
Boris Johnson said last night that the United Kingdom should be "safe and calm,quot; against the threat of the coronavirus. Speaking in Birmingham, the Prime Minister praised the NHS response and said that anyone interested should "simply follow his advice."
During Mr. Walsh's 6,736 mile trip home from Singapore, he stopped in the French Alps for a four-day ski vacation.
Several of his travel associates have tested positive since then. He contacted his family doctor, NHS Helpline 111 and Public Health England as soon as he realized he could have found the virus at the conference. "They advised me to go to an isolated room in the hospital, despite showing no symptoms, and then I isolated myself at home according to the instructions," he said. "When the diagnosis was confirmed, they sent me to an isolation unit in the hospital, where I remain, and, as a precaution, my family was also asked to be isolated." The businessman has been treated at St Thomas Hospital in London since his case was confirmed last Thursday.
He is an employee of Servomex, a British gas analysis firm that organized the conference at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Singapore, where he and employees from other countries contracted the virus.
After returning home to the United Kingdom on January 28, his company told Walsh to work from home because of unfounded concerns about the circulation of the virus at the conference. But it is understood that he continued with his daily life as normal until February 3, when the company discovered that one of the 94 conference attendees had contracted the virus.
The cases related to Mr. Walsh have led the authorities to look for all those who may have come into contact with him and the other carriers.
The coronavirus could kill 45 MILLION people and infect SIX PERCENT of the world's population if it cannot be controlled, according to the main medical officials in Hong Kong
The killer coronavirus could infect more than 60 percent of the world's population if containment methods fail, a senior medical officer in Hong Kong said.
Professor Gabriel Leung, president of public health medicine in the city, also said that even if the death rate reaches one percent, it could still kill millions of people.
With the world population currently at more than 7 billion, that means the virus has the potential to infect more than 4 billion, if Professor Leung is right and its spread continues to accelerate.
And if one percent of those people die, that means there will be more than 45 million deaths.
But the heads of the World Health Organization urged virologists yesterday to stop "throwing figures for which there is no basis."
However, the number of new cases reported in China each day has begun to level off, decreasing five of the last eight days.
It does not mean that the outbreak, which began in late December, has reached its peak, but scientists who address the crisis say it is an encouraging sign.
More than 45,000 people in almost 30 countries have contracted the virus never seen before, which has been called COVID-19. At least 1,100 have died.
A Chinese woman wears a plastic wrap, bags and a protective mask while walking in a residential neighborhood in Beijing
Professor Gabriel Leung, president of public health medicine in Hong Kong and photographed at the University of Hong Kong last month, commented on a visit to London
Experts studying the outbreak, which began in the deserted Chinese city of Wuhan, expect cases to continue to increase.
They also say that the actual figure will be much higher than the figures show because thousands of patients have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.
The hope is that, with the knowledge and diagnostic test for the now more widespread coronavirus, people are being diagnosed more quickly.
This means that they can be moved to isolation to contain the spread, which should help prevent infections from reaching their full potential.
But Professor Leung told The Guardian during a visit to London that the priority now is to establish the size and shape of the & # 39; epidemic iceberg & # 39 ;.
Mike Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization's health emergency program, said: "Everyone talks about keeping calm and keeping our population calm."
& # 39; However, every time we have the opportunity it seems that we want to accelerate the infodemic and not contain the epidemic.
& # 39; Let's be careful when throwing figures, speculation and scaring people. I only warn everyone not to start throwing figures on which there is no basis at this time & # 39; & # 39 ;.
And on Monday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said she and her agency & # 39; absolutely assume that the reported cases They are underestimated & # 39; during a National Press Club event.
Most experts believe that each infected person has transmitted the virus to about 2.5 people, which gives an & # 39; attack rate & # 39; 60 to 80 percent.
However, it is believed that the mortality rate is much lower. Professor Leung expects it to be around one percent once the milder cases, which have not been diagnosed, are taken into account.
"Will 60 to 80 percent of the world's population be infected?" He asked, "Maybe not. Maybe this virus will come in waves.
"Maybe the virus will mitigate its lethality because it certainly doesn't help it if it kills everyone in its path, because it will also kill it."
Even if the virus reaches only one percent, many people could die. Pictured above are emergency workers evacuating public housing residents in Hong Kong
Japan confirms 39 new cases of coronavirus on cruise, with a total of 174 cases
Thirty-nine new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on a quarantine cruise in a Japanese port.
The update brings the total found in the Diamond Princess to 174 cases.
The ministry also said the virus was confirmed by an official who participated in the initial quarantine controls the night the ship returned to Yokohama port near Tokyo on February 3.
The quarantine officer is being treated in the hospital.
The new cases bring the total of Japan to 203 people infected by the new virus, COVID-19.
On the night of the ship's arrival, Japanese health officials began medical checks on all 3,700 passengers and the ship's crew after a previous passenger tested positive for the virus.
Diamond Princess, operated by the United States, had completed a 14-day tour during which it stopped in Hong Kong and several other Asian ports before returning to Japan.
Japanese government officials and the tourism company said Hong Kong notified them that an 80-year-old male passenger who got off the boat there then tested positive for the virus.
After establishing the scale of the epidemic, he said they would have to establish whether the containment methods used are effective in stopping the spread of the virus.
The intensity of the spread of an outbreak is based on a measure used by epidemiologists, called R0, which is pronounced & # 39; R nothing & # 39 ;.
Estimate how many people each infected person infects in turn. In the case of the coronavirus epidemic, the number is about 2.5 people. In contrast, the measles rate is around 15.
But actual propagation, as opposed to maximum, fluctuates as more data becomes available and containment methods evolve.
For example, if a wave of new cases were diagnosed today, in people who might have been infected for some time but were asymptomatic, the estimate of spread would increase.
If tomorrow, a higher percentage of those identified as potentially infected were isolated more quickly, experts could estimate the spread.
Predicting the epidemic curve, or progression, of the coronavirus can help public health agencies prepare for the worst and give an approximate estimate, but these are notoriously inaccurate to the actual intensity of an outbreak, especially in its early days. .
Governments around the world are currently focusing on containment to prevent the spread of the virus, but, if it fails, this response will change to mitigation.
China closed coronavirus-infected cities, including Wuhan at the epicenter of the virus, in a desperate effort to stop the spread of the disease.
Cruises such as the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan have been isolated after cases of coronavirus were identified, and many countries have isolated travelers returning from Wuhan and other areas of China.
There have been accusations that China has not accurately reported the spread of the coronavirus and the number of people killed by it, which makes it more difficult to discover the & # 39; iceberg of infection & # 39; of the virus
Wuhan's doctor, Jeisi Luo, is not his real name, he warned that there are likely to be many more infections than were reported due to limited test kits and the fact that people die before they are diagnosed.
"When preliminary tests determine that a patient has a lung disease, the nucleic acid test that detects the virus cannot always be performed because the waiting list is too long," he said. "Therefore, the patient is not diagnosed."
Instead, doctors are dealing with the crisis by sending people home with medications and advising them to "isolate themselves."
Social media reports have also claimed that China's body-burning facilities in Wuhan are running at full throttle, suggesting that the death toll from the virus may be significantly higher than what the country has reported.
Professor Leung imagined talking to journalists during a press conference in Hong Kong in January
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT MORTAL CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?
A person infected with the coronavirus can spread it with a simple cough or sneeze, scientists say.
It is now confirmed that at least 1,116 people with the virus have died and more than 45,180 have been infected in at least 28 countries and regions. But experts predict that the actual number of people with the disease could be 100,000, or even up to 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn that it can kill up to two out of every 100 cases. This is what we know so far:
What is the coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus that can cause diseases in animals and people. Viruses break down in cells within their host and use them to reproduce and disrupt normal body functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word & # 39; crown & # 39 ;, which means crown, because they are enclosed by a spiked shell that resembles a royal crown.
Wuhan's coronavirus is one that had never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Virus Taxonomy Committee. The name means coronavirus of severe acute respiratory syndrome 2.
Experts say the mistake, which has killed about one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a & # 39; sister & # 39; of the SARS disease that affected China in 2002, so it got its name.
The disease that causes the virus has been called COVID-19, which means coronavirus 2019 disease.
Dr. Helena Maier, of the Pirbright Institute, said: & # 39; Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species, including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.
& # 39; Until this new coronavirus was identified, only six different coronaviruses were known to infect humans. Four of them cause a mild common cold disease, but since 2002 two new coronaviruses have emerged that can infect humans and cause more serious diseases (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus) .
It is known that coronaviruses can occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.
The first human cases were reported publicly from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11 million people live, after doctors began to report infections publicly on December 31.
By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and the registered cases began to increase.
The first person died that week and, on January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had been infected, possibly up to 7,000.
Only a week after that, there were more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that about 4,000, possibly 9,700, were infected in Wuhan alone. By that time, 26 people had died.
By January 27, it was confirmed that more than 2,800 people had been infected, 81 had died and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.
By January 29, the number of deaths had increased to 132 and the cases exceeded 6,000.
By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.
By February 11, this had increased to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths.
Where does the virus come from?
According to scientists, it is almost certain that the virus comes from bats. Coronaviruses generally tend to originate in animals: it is believed that similar SARS and MERS viruses originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.
The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed for investigation.
Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and live animals were sold, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat.
A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in the February 2020 issue of the scientific journal Nature, found that samples of viruses of genetic composition found in patients in China are 96 percent similar to a coronavirus found in the bats.
However, there were not many bats on the market, so scientists say it was likely that there was an animal acting as an intermediary, contracting it from a bat before transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what kind of animal this was.
Dr. Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, did not participate in the research, but said: "The discovery definitely locates the origin of nCoV in bats in China."
"We still don't know if another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, or what species that host could have been."
So far the deaths are quite low. Why are health experts so worried?
Experts say the international community is worried about the virus because very little is known about it and it seems that it is spreading rapidly.
It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed almost 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, as it is a type of coronavirus that infects the lungs of humans.
Another cause for concern is that nobody has immunity to the virus because they had never found it before. This means that it can cause more damage than the viruses we encounter often, such as the flu or the common cold.
Speaking in an information session in January, Oxford University professor Dr. Peter Horby said: & # 39; New viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses that circulate all the time because We have no immunity against them.
& # 39; Most seasonal flu viruses have a lethality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we are talking about a virus in which we do not fully understand the severity spectrum, but it is possible that the lethality rate is as high as two percent & # 39; & # 39 ;.
If the mortality rate is really two percent, that means that two out of every 100 patients who suffer from it will die.
"My feeling is that it is less," added Dr. Horby. & # 39; We are probably missing out on this iceberg of milder cases. But that is the current circumstance in which we are.
"The lethality rate of two percent is comparable to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, so it is a major concern worldwide."
How does the virus spread?
The disease can spread among people through coughing and sneezing, which makes it an extremely contagious infection. And it can also spread even before someone has symptoms.
It is believed that it travels in saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore, close contact, kissing and sharing cutlery or utensils are risky.
Originally, it was thought that people were catching him in a live animal market in Wuhan City. But cases soon began to arise in people who had never been there, forcing doctors to realize that it was spreading from person to person.
Now there is evidence that it can spread to third parties, to someone from one person who caught it from another person.
What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?
Once someone has contracted the COVID-19 virus, it may take two to 14 days, or even more, for them to show any symptoms, but they can still be contagious during this time.
If they get sick and when they get sick, typical signs include a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients, at least 97 percent, according to available data, will recover from these without any medical problems or help.
In a small group of patients, who appear to be mainly elderly or people with long-term illness, it can cause pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the inside of the lungs swells and fills with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.
What have genetic tests revealed about the virus?
Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of about 19 strains of the virus and delivered them to experts who work around the world.
This allows others to study them, develop tests and possibly investigate the treatment of the disease they cause.
Tests have revealed that the coronavirus did not change much, the change is known as mutation, much during the early stages of its spread.
However, the general director of the China Disease Control and Prevention Center, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.
This means that efforts to study the virus and potentially control it can be more difficult because the virus may look different each time scientists analyze it.
It is possible that more studies may reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people and then changed and spread from them, or if there were several versions of the virus from animals that developed separately.
How dangerous is the virus?
So far, the virus has killed 1,116 people out of a total of at least 45,188 officially confirmed cases, a mortality rate of about two percent. This is a mortality rate similar to the Spanish flu outbreak that, in 1918, killed about 50 million people.
However, experts say that the actual number of patients is probably considerably higher and, therefore, the mortality rate is considerably lower. Researchers at Imperial College London estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in the city of Wuhan alone until January 18; officially, there were only 444 there until that date. If the cases are in fact 100 times more common than official figures, the virus may be much less dangerous than is currently believed, but also much more widespread.
Experts say that only patients with more serious illnesses are likely to seek help and, therefore, be registered; The vast majority will have only mild cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia that can destroy the lungs and kill it.
Can the virus be cured?
The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured currently and is proving difficult to contain.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral medications may work, but the process of understanding a virus and then developing and producing medications to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.
A coronavirus vaccine is not yet available and is not likely to be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for reasons similar to the previous ones.
The National Institutes of Health of the USA. UU. And the University of Baylor in Waco, Texas, says they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to pharmaceutical technology.
Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and prevent them from infecting other people.
People who get the disease are in quarantine in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.
And airports around the world are implementing detection measures, such as having doctors in place, taking people's temperature to check for fever and using thermal tests to detect those who might be sick (the infection causes an increase in temperature).
However, it may take weeks until symptoms appear, so there is a small chance that patients will be detected at an airport.
Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?
The outbreak is an epidemic, which occurs when a disease takes over a community, such as a country or region.
Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classified as a pandemic, which the World Health Organization defines as the "global spread of a new disease."
WHO's director of global infectious risk preparedness, Dr. Sylvie Briand, said: & # 39; We are not currently in a pandemic. We are in the phase in which it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci & # 39 ;, The Guardian reported.
She said that most of the cases outside Hubei had "spilled,quot; from the epicenter, so the disease was not actively spreading throughout the world.