A virus similar to SARS, responsible for the mysterious pneumonia-china

A new virus has to China on alert. It is a mysterious pneumonia that has infected dozens of people in the city of Wuhan and corresponding to a new strain of a c

A virus similar to SARS, responsible for the mysterious pneumonia-china

A new virus has to China on alert. It is a mysterious pneumonia that has infected dozens of people in the city of Wuhan and corresponding to a new strain of a coronavirus similar to that which in 2002 caused the epidemic of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome, for its acronym in English). This has been confirmed on the national tv in china, CCTV, according to the research of a group of scientists that has succeeded in isolating the gene sequence of the infectious agent.

medical tests have confirmed the presence of this new pathogen in 15 of the 59 cases detected since the beginning of December, all of them in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. The origin of the majority of these infections has been traced to a fish market and seafood in the traded live animals. Since then, the area has been closed and quarantined. To date, none of the patients has died, and even eight patients, which showed no symptoms, were discharged yesterday, Wednesday. The local health authorities have ensured that there has been detected no transmission from human to human.

coronaviruses, which are named by the chain of RNA that surrounds them giving them the shape of a crown, they usually attack the respiratory tract of mammals. To date only knew of six. Four cause mild symptoms similar to those of a cold. The other two, however, are sadly famous: in 2002, the SARS coronavirus, which originated in China, caused the death of more than 700 people around the world; while in 2015 the (MERS respiratory syndrome of Middle East) left 449 people dead.

Given the history, the news has been greeted with concern in the country. “I have a lot of fear. I remember that SARS appeared next before the Feast of the Spring and then expanded thanks to the means of transportation,” wrote a user on Weibo, a social network similar to Twitter. Your words make reference to the chinese new year, which in 2020 will take place on the 25th of January. On the occasion of this national holiday, it is tradition for people to return to the family home, causing the largest human migration in the world, with more than 3,000 million of displacements: an ideal scenario for the spread of a virus.

The mysterious ailment, however, could have jumped in already outside of the borders of the asian giant. In South Korea, a woman of chinese nationality has been placed in isolation due to the possibility that you are infected, according to the Wednesday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Korea (KCDC). The woman, 36, was diagnosed Tuesday with pneumonia, after two business trips in that among other cities he visited Wuhan. Neighbouring countries, meanwhile, have begun to take extreme security measures at airports.

The World Health Organization does not consider it necessary, from time, establish special measures for travellers. So has announced in a press release made public this morning, ensuring that “new coronavirus appear periodically [...] and China has a health care system robust, able to respond to and manage outbreaks of respiratory infections”. The institution, which has shown its willingness to provide technical support to the health authorities of the country, has ruled that “in the next few weeks will be necessary information more comprehensive to better understand the current status and epidemiology of the outbreak”.

In the same direction have been expressed by the scientists responsible for identifying the virus, ensuring that their initial finding should be completed with more investigations. Although it is possible to obtain evidence of the presence of pathogens in a short period of time, the production of a vaccine could take years. Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, an expert in respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has assured the South China Morning Post that still needs to clarify some key details such as “what animal is the source of the virus, the incubation period and the route of transmission.” Some specialists, such as Peng Yihong, professor of the faculty of Medicine of Beijing, have ventured that the cause of the outbreak could be “the pathogens contained in the caves, karst, place of origin of many of the seafood going to market.”

Date Of Update: 09 January 2020, 12:00

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