China’s central Wuhan city suffers from a new virus. What is it?

Mudassir Ali
Mar 03, 2020 05:38 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Mar 03, 2020 05:38 PM

It is a type of coronavirus which is similar to SARS and MERS. It is said that this new virus originated at a seafood market in central Wuhan and the most likely source is a bat. So what happened was this bat possibly bit a chicken or maybe a snake I don’t actually remember then a Chinese man ate the snake/chicken, this is how the virus transmitted from the bat to a human.

The virus appears to be less deadly compared with SARS and MERS with a fatality rate of 3%-4%, however, it’s clearly more contagious and the carrier may not show any symptoms after getting infected which makes it extremely hard to detect. For what we know now, there are already 41 people dead because of this new virus and there are at least 10000 infected in Wuhan alone. The most scary thing is the virus is still mutating and it may potentially become more severe eventually and cause a global pandemic.

We need to be extremely cautious about this virus and take necessary precautions. A couple minutes ago I heard that a few big pharmaceutical firms have already started creating a vaccine for this but it’s gonna take at least 6 months to get one.

We can only pray for the best for now.

Mudassir Ali
- Mar 03, 2020 05:38 PM

It is a newly-discovered coronavirus, in the same family as the agent causing SARS and MERS, but this one appears (to this time at least) not to be as severe as those. Other coronaviruses cause illness we include in the “common cold” group.

The SARS and MERS viruses are both animal viruses that have jumped into human populations. This means they are zoonoses and that the reservoir is an animal species. In the Wuhan scenario, the large seafood market appears to be a likely source (it also deals with birds and other food animals.

Unlike the SARS saga in 2003, this time the Chinese authorities in Hubei province have been extremely efficient in finding the virus and reporting within hours the latest cases and virology. The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection has also been working on the outbreak and have been sharing samples and information with the mainland. As of yesterday, (10th Jan), 41 patents have been diagnosed to have the infection. The cases began on December 8, and the most recent on January 2. One death has been associated with the illness (61 y/o male), who had other non-related illnesses.

Four hundred and nineteen contacts of the patients are under medical surveillance.

The genome of the virus has been completed by the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center & School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Central Hospital of Wuhan, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control, and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. The sequence is available at

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