On Sunday, China reported several 17 new cases of SARS-like virus in the central city of Wuhan. The patients range from 30 to 79 years old. Three of them are in severe condition, with two patients too critical to be moved. Could it be the so-called Disease X?
Wuhan is believed to be the epicenter of the outbreak and has now 62 people infected. Only 19 were cured and discharged from the hospital. Scientists with the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London warned that the number of cases in the city was likely to be closer to 1,700. They based their affirmation on the fact that in Japan and Thailand were also reported cases.
The virus already killed two people, causing pulmonary tuberculosis and damaged multiple organ functions. The seafood market in the center of Wuhan seems to be connected with a number of those infected. But some of the cases had no contact with it.
Concerns raised as the SARS-like virus could be the Disease X
The authorities are concerned because of China’s lunar new year holiday, starting this week when hundreds of millions of people move around the country to visit their families. Wuhan’s health commission has previously said that the possibility of human-to-human transmission “cannot be excluded.” Although, none has been confirmed either.
The authorities are taking measures by making optimized testing of pneumonia to detect those infected. Wuhan deputy mayor Chen Xiexin said that infrared thermometers had been installed at airports, railway stations and coach stations across the city. The US will begin screening direct flights arriving from Wuhan in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Thailand said it was already screening passengers arriving from Wuhan.
In 2002-2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong. The new coronavirus seems to be connected with it, and the new SARS-like virus could be the so-called Disease X.