OFFICIALS: CHINA CANNOT CONTAIN THE WUHAN CORONAVIRUS
Full Spectrum Survival
Sustained transmission fueling outbreak: The new analysis on 2019-nCoV transmissibility was released today by a group based at Imperial College London that made two earlier projections on the number of symptomatic illnesses in Wuhan.
The report focuses on transmissibility. They estimate that the reproduction number (R0), the average number of illnesses spread by one infected person, is 2.6 (range, 1.5 to 3.5). Also, the experts said transmission patterns are probably variable, with some people infecting several others, while some don't.
Control steps in China would need to block 60% of transmission to control the outbreak, the researchers projected. "It is unclear at the current time whether this outbreak can be contained within China," they wrote, emphasizing that key questions remain, such as how well residents adopt recommended risk-reduction steps, how severe the disease is, and how readily people with mild disease can pass the virus to others.
They urged health officials, if possible, to cast a wide net for isolating and testing suspected cases that involve only mild to moderate disease.
A third study, meanwhile, estimates that 14% of people hospitalized with a 2019-nCoV infection will die. Like SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which spread around the globe in 2003, eventually infecting more than 8,000 people, most patients infected with 2019-nCoV were previously healthy, with only 13 (32%) having underlying conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Also, 2019-nCoV patients had a broad range of symptoms: pneumonia (41, 100%), fever (40, 98%), cough (32, 76%), and fatigue (18, 44%). Over half of patients also experienced shortness of breath (22, 55%), but headache (3, 8%) and diarrhea (1, 3%) were uncommon.