Just a virus or a biological weapon? Unknown disease kills Chinese

In the Chinese city of Wuhan, there was an outbreak of a previously unknown virus, striking a light, wrote the BBC.

Просто вирус или биологические оружие? Неизвестная болезнь убивает китайцев

Photo: Depositphotos

The disease is diagnosed in more than 50 people, of whom seven are in critical condition.

The emergence of a new virus due to which patients develops pneumonia, it is, of course, cause for concern. Health workers worldwide are ready for any scenarios.

But whether flash is a short-term or is this the first sign of a more serious threat?

What do we know about the virus?

The ill took samples to examine the virus in the laboratory.

The Chinese authorities and the world health organization came to the conclusion that the infection is a coronavirus.

To the family of coronaviruses is quite a lot of viruses but only six of them (and with a new virus seven) is able to strike the man.

In 2002, the outbreak of coronavirus, which began in China, SARS was sick 8098 people. 774 people died.

“People still remember with horror about SARS, here largely comes fear, but now we are prepared much better to confront such diseases,” said Dr. Josie Golding from the Wellcome Trust.

How dangerous is he?

The consequences of infection with coronaviruses can vary from mild flu to death.

A new virus, apparently, is somewhere in the middle of this range.

“When we are faced with a new coronavirus, we want to determine the severity of symptoms. This time the symptoms are similar to colds, there’s reason for alarm there, but it’s not as bad as SARS,” says Professor mark Vulkhaus from the University of Edinburgh.

Where did he come from?

New viruses emerge constantly. They are transmitted from animals from which virus could not notice, people.

“If you remember the previous outbreaks of viruses when there were new coronavirus, its carrier was animals,” says a virologist at the University of Nottingham, Professor Jonathan ball.

The first guy got SARS from the African civet.

And middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) is frequently transmitted to humans from dromedaries — one-humped camels. Since the detection in 2012 of 2494 known cases of infection 858 ended with a lethal outcome.

What animal was a carrier?

The problem is simplified when it is clear which animal is a carrier of the virus.

This time the cases were related to the wholesale seafood market in Wuhan.

Although the carrier of the coronavirus could be sold in the market of marine mammals, e.g. Beluga whales, are also there selling chickens, bats, rabbits, snakes. Most likely among them to look for the source of infection.

Why did this happen in China?

According to Woolhouse, due to the size and population density and close contact with animals-carriers of viruses.

“No one is surprised that another outbreak happened in China or in one of the countries of the region,” he says.

The rapid spreading of the virus?

Probably the most comforting thing in this situation is that a new virus, it seems, is not transmitted from person to person.

When studying a new virus affecting the lungs specialists are primarily interested in this aspect, as by airborne droplets — through coughing and sneezing — the virus spreads very quickly.

If he was passed from person to person, would be aware of the infections of health care workers because of their close contact with patients.

The Chinese government said that this did not happen.

But some experts believe that talking about the impossibility of transmission of the virus from person to person prematurely.

“A total of 59 people had contact with the infected animal for a very short period of time. Intuition suggests that this is too much, so the question remains open,” says Jonathan ball.

“I’m more careful evaluation than skeptical. While early to say for sure. The majority of coronaviruses are transmitted from person to person], and it bothers me,” adds Vulkhaus.

What is the speed of propagation?

All 59 patients the symptoms began to manifest between 12 and 29 December 2019.

New cases of infection were reported.

“Good that the other cases were not recorded. China is serious, and the outbreak can be contained. Wait and see,” says Golding.

There are fears that the virus could spread as a result of the travel of millions of people across the country before the Chinese New year.

What measures are the Chinese authorities?

Infected people were treated in segregated wards to avoid the risk of spreading to other patients.

More than 150 people had contact with infected patients, and now they are under surveillance.

For the screening of passengers were installed scanners that determine body temperature.

The seafood market was closed for cleaning and disinfection.

Does it worry experts?

Golding: “At the moment, until we have more information, it is difficult to know whether we worry or not. Until we know what was the source of infection, the sense of concern will remain.”

Boll: “We need to worry about any viruses that come in person for the first time, because they managed to overcome the first major barrier. Once in the [human] cell and extending further, they can begin the process of mutation. As a result, this may give them the ability to spread efficiently and be a greater threat. You can’t give the virus the chance.”