The incubation period of a new strain of coronavirus currently ravaging China can be as long as 24 days, a new study has revealed.
At present, scientists believe the novel coronavirus has an incubation period - the time between it entering the body and the last point at which it could cause symptoms - of around 14 days.
And anyone suspected to be infected with the deadly disease is advised to be put under quarantine for two weeks right now in China and beyond.
One UK-based expert considered the findings 'worrying', but suggested that only a 'very small' number of patients were likely to have 'really long' incubation periods.
WHO experts suggested that the 24-day incubation period could reflect a double exposure in a patient. The organisation said it was not considering changing the recommended quarantine time of two weeks.
The coronavirus outbreak has created global anxiety since the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China, late last year. So far, over 30,000 illnesses and 635 deaths have been reported in mainland China, with cases in the double digits found throughout Asia, parts of Europe, Australia, and beyond; in the US, 12 people have been found to have the pneumonia-like virus. In response, Chinese cities have been quarantined, borders have been sealed, and travel has been banned. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus an international public health emergency.
While panic about a sudden, deadly virus is to be expected, some fears — especially in North America and the West — have been based on something other than health. The panic has exposed a deep-seated xenophobia, and with it, a symptom of its own has surfaced: hostility toward East Asian people.
Washington Post reporter John Pomfret writes, “At a middle school a few blocks from my house, a rumor circulated among the children that all Asian kids have the coronavirus and should be quarantined.” People in Los Angeles and Toronto have also experienced instances of xenophobic harassment, from racist comments made by TSA agents to verbal street harassment. In the UK, Chinese restaurants say they are struggling for business because of widespread misconceptions about the “cleanliness” of their food. Meanwhile, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has touted the crisis in China as an opportunity to increase jobs in America.
While some efforts to contain the virus seem fairly practical — like the suspension of flights to mainland China — others seem to be unfairly targeting Asian people. Australia is quarantining people who’ve recently been to China’s Hubei province, many of whom are of Asian descent, on an offshore island.
Adding to the panic are conspiracy theories. Under the pseudonym Tyler Durden, the founder of a right-wing financial blog called ZeroHedge posted an article, “Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?” sharing the name and personal information of a Chinese doctor and researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, accusing him of collaborating with the Chinese government to develop engineered bioweapons.
The Wuhan coronavirus, now known as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, has officially infected more than 45,200 people. The disease is still concentrated in mainland China, with over 70% of the infected residing in Hubei province.
But despite the staggering scope of the outbreak, independent scientists still think China is underreporting the crisis.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe the COVID-19 infection numbers are actually much higher than the Chinese government is reporting.
The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Slowing – But Can We Trust The Official Data? The number of total cases of COVID-19 is growing at a steady clip, but the virus’ infection rate seems to be slowing in China.
COVID-19 infected 2,071 new patients on Feb. 11, down from 2,546 on Feb. 10 and 3,001 on Feb. 9th. But with Chinese cases excluded from the data, the virus continues to grow at an alarming rate.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and the City of San Antonio announced Thursday that a case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed.
The patient, who was quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, was officially diagnosed with the disease that first originated in Wuhan, China. The risk to the public remains low, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.
The patient had a fever reported Tuesday morning. Doctors took samples and sent them to the CDC for testing. The results that confirmed the diagnosis were received at 6 p.m. Wednesday, said Captain Jennifer McQuiston said, the deputy director of the center’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology.
The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby. Officials declined to release the name of the hospital.
An American biotech company says it created a coronavirus vaccine three hours after getting access to the virus' genetic sequence on Jan. 9, and now scientists are racing to get the vaccine on the market in record time.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is based in Pennsylvania, but scientists in its laboratory in San Diego made the discovery.
"We have an algorithm which we designed, and we put the DNA sequence into our algorithm and came up with the vaccine in that short amount of time," Inovio's research and development director Dr. Trevor Smith told KVUE.
China has reported 254 new daily deaths and a spike in new daily virus cases of 15,152, after new methodology was applied in the hardest-hit province of Hubei as to how cases are categorized.
Inovio's vaccine for COVID-19, as health officials have named the virus, could be ready as early as this summer. Inovio's stock jumped to $5.32 a share a few days after the company announced it was selected to work on a coronavirus vaccine. Shares are now at $3.34, back to where they were a month ago.
The American company is partnering with Beijing Advaccine, a Chinese company, to work on the vaccine.
"Inovio's participation in this developing effort is based on the ideal suitability of its DNA medicine platform to rapidly develop vaccines against emerging viruses with pandemic potential, proven vaccine development capabilities, and a strong track record of rapidly generating promising countermeasures against previous pandemic threats," the company said in a statement on Jan. 30. "Inovio was the first to advance its vaccine (INO-4700) against MERS-CoV, a related coronavirus, into evaluation in humans."
Another U.S. company, Maryland-based Novavax, is aiming to make a coronavirus vaccine in as little as three months, although such vaccines can take years to develop. The company made an Ebola vaccine in 90 days.