Date: 07-Feb-2020

China Coronavirus Update: Continued Spread, Run on Antivirals and Facemasks, Baby Diagnosed

The most recent figure for the China coronavirus outbreak is 28,018 confirmed cases with 563 deaths in China. Chinese health authorities indicate 19 foreigners have been infected by the virus. There are reports that a Chinese newborn is the youngest person to become infected. The infant was diagnosed 30 hours after birth, apparently having gotten it from the mother. “This reminds us to pay attention to mother-to-child being a possible route of coronavirus transmission,” Zeng Lingkong, chief physician of Wuhan Children Hospital’s neonatal medicine department, told Reuters. The coronavirus, which comes from the same family of viruses as the common cold, SARS and MERS, began in the city of Wuhan, China. It is believed to have originated in bats and made the jump to human beings, possibly at a seafood market in the city. The virus’s genome is very similar to the SARS virus. It is an airborne virus, although it does not appear to survive long outside the body or on surfaces and remain infectious. It seems to require close contact or exposure to droplets, such as coughing or sneezing, from someone who is infected. However, there are some signs that it can be transmitted prior to symptoms occurring. It causes flu-like symptoms that in some cases become pneumonia. Yesterday, it was reported that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, part of the China Academy of Sciences, has applied to patent the use of Gilead Sciences' remdesivir to treat the current coronavirus outbreak.