Maybe keep an eye on this….
The number of people already infected by the mystery virus emerging in China is far greater than official figures suggest, scientists have told the BBC.
There have been 45 laboratory-confirmed cases of the new virus, but UK experts estimate the figure is closer to 1,700.
Two people are known to have died from the virus, which appeared in Wuhan city in December.
“I am substantially more concerned than I was a week ago,” disease outbreak scientist, Prof Neil Ferguson, said.
The work was conducted by the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, which advises bodies including the UK government and the World Health Organization.
Coronavirus: more cases and second death reported in China
More cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan and a second person has died, according to local authorities. It comes as disease-modelling experts warned that far more people may have been affected by the previously unknown virus than thought.
The Wuhan municipal health commission said in a statement that four patients diagnosed with pneumonia on Thursday were in a stable condition, taking the total number of cases to nearly 50. The statement released in the early hours on Saturday is the first confirmation of new cases by the commission in nearly a week.
On Friday, the commission announced the second death from the virus. A 69-year-old man was admitted to hospital with abnormal renal function and severe damage to multiple organs, and died on 15 January, the commission said.
Preliminary lab tests cited by state media showed the pathogen could be from a new type of coronavirus, a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).
World Health Organization disease-modelling experts based at Imperial College, London, said that far more people may have been infected and they warned human-to-human transmission could not be ruled out.
Prof Neil Ferguson and colleagues, from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial, calculated that the number of cases in Wuhan may be more than 1,700. “It is likely that the Wuhan outbreak of a novel coronavirus has caused substantially more cases of moderate or severe respiratory illness than currently reported,” they said in a report.
The report said all hospitalised cases of pneumonia or severe respiratory disease in the Wuhan area and other well-connected Chinese cities should be investigated.