A new threat seems to appear in the Asian giant. They are already mmore than 50 cases of pneumonia that accumulate in the city of Wuhan, in the center of China. The experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) argue that it may be due to an emerging member of the virus family that caused the fatal outbreaks of SARS and MERS.
While the United Nations health agency states at the moment that requires more complete information To confirm precisely the cause of the infections, it already points to the appearance of a new coronavirus.
The official news agency Xinhua from China notes that preliminary laboratory results carried out by a team of experts showed that the pathogen was a new type of coronavirus. Y, 59 cases of pneumonia have been reported until last Sunday.
What is the coronavirus?
The coronavirus They are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Some of the types of viruses cause less serious diseases, while others, such as the one that causes the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), are much more serious.
The outbreak occurs before the Lunar New Year holidays in January, when many of China’s 1.4 billion people will travel to their home cities or abroad. The Chinese government expects passengers to make 440 million trips by rail and another 79 million trips by plane, officials said Thursday.
Why is the virus a serious threat to health?
The WHO statement said that, according to Chinese authorities, the virus behind Wuhan cases can cause serious illness in some patients, but does not seem to spread easily from person to person. Jeremy Farrar, infectious disease epidemic specialist and director of a global health charity based in Great Britain. The WellcomeTrust adds that while “a group of patients with an unusual respiratory infection is, and always should be, a concern … if the infection is not transmitted from person to person, the level of concern is reduced somewhat.”
On December 31, 2019, the WHO office in China was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology detected in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. As of January 3, 2020, the national authorities of the country have informed the international organization of a total of 44 patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology. Of the 44 cases reported, 11 are seriously ill, while the remaining 33 patients are in stable condition. According to media reports, the market in question in Wuhan was closed on January 1, 2020 for sanitation and environmental disinfection.
The causative agent has not yet been identified or confirmed. On January 1, 2020, WHO requested more information from national authorities to assess risk.
Wang Yang, chief engineer of the Chinese Ministry of Transportation, said at the meeting that the authorities intensify efforts to prevent the outbreak of pneumonia from spreading even more during the holiday period, which includes ensuring adequate disinfection in the main public transport centers.
What have been the other major coronavirus outbreaks?
WHO states that coronavirus emerge periodicallyeven in 2002 to cause SARS Y in 2012 to cause MERS, and states that more information is required to confirm the pathogen and understand the epidemiology of the outbreak and its progress.
In 2003, the Chinese officials covered up an outbreak of SARS for weeks before an increasing number of deaths and rumors forced the government to reveal the epidemic. The disease spread rapidly to other cities and countries. More than 8,000 people were infected and 775 died.