Please journalists-stop calling this WuhanCoronavirus
Virus interim name is "2019-nCoV"
Disease name is "2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease"
Its not perfect, but complies w/ @WHO Best Practices 1/3
— Maria Van Kerkhove (@mvankerkhove) January 31, 2020
Sarah Zhang at the Atlantic explains the reasoning behind this well-intentioned “best practice”, but I’m not sure how many non-scientists are going to be persuaded. SARS and MERS were labelled fairly expeditiously; Ebola, on the other hand, is irretrievably connected to the river near the first diagnosis.
#2019nCoV: China's Jan. 31 numbers are up — 2102 new cases, 46 more deaths.
The total cases confirmed there now is 11,791 & the death toll is 259.
I expected a bigger jump but I don't know how testing supplies/capacity are at this stage. pic.twitter.com/sRJqqY36ig
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) February 1, 2020
Ebola kills half of the people who get it. SARS killed 10%.#Coronavirus appears far less fatal, with about 2% of the 6,000 confirmed cases dying. For many, the illness is about as serious as a flu.
Good news, right?
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) February 1, 2020
… In an epidemiological twist of fate, the coronavirus’s mildness may help it spread undetected until it hits the most vulnerable people. Experts are concerned that it could find a devastating “sweet spot”—mild enough that some patients will go about their normal routines and spread the virus far and wide, triggering an increase in deaths. And if some patients may spread the virus when they have mild or no symptoms at all, as Chinese officials have asserted, that would undercut efforts to halt transmission…
“Even if only 1% of people who are infected die, if it can spread globally, that will be a lot of people,” said Christian Althaus, a computational epidemiologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland.
So far, the vast majority of the 6,000 global cases of the new coronavirus, known for now as 2019-nCov, have been contained to China.
But the disease has spread inside the world’s most populous nation, a major hub of travel and trade for the region, with cases emerging in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere. There are early reports of spread in other countries, as well. Four people in Germany were infected by a coworker visiting from China who didn’t get sick until her plane ride back. In Vietnam, a Chinese man from Wuhan spread the disease to his son there during a visit to the country, during a trip where the infected family traveled around the country on planes, trains, and taxis.
Inside China, the actual case count may be far higher than has been reported. One estimate says the number of infections may have hit more than 26,000 by Jan. 28, according to research from Jinan University published in the biology preprint website, Biorxiv.
Within China, “what the numbers are telling us is this is a very serious situation and the virus is spreading in a very concerning way,” said Michael Olsterholm, director of the the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. So far, it appears “it is going to be much more difficult to control than SARS.”…