2019-nCoV is a coronavirus. SARS is a coronavirus.
2019-nCoV is not done mutating in any way, it mutates every host or so. Scientists have sequenced the genome of 2019-nCoV several times and they think that it STARTED infecting humans as late as November 2019, with the first major outbreak around a month later in Wuhan.
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... oronavirus
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, and the scientists say sustained human-to-human transmission is the only explanation for the large-scale outbreak in Wuhan. They add that today's report is an extended version of what they shared with the World Health Organization, governments, and academic networks earlier this week.
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, a pattern seen with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus).
Control steps in China would need to block 60% of transmission to control the outbreak, the researchers projected. Without drugs or vaccine, shutting down the outbreak depends on quickly finding and isolating sick people.
"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.
Gene analysis hints at recent spillover
A new analysis from researchers at the open-source pathogen genome analysis project Nextstrain, based on 24 genomes of 2019-nCoV that have been shared, found a lack of diversity that points to a single spillover from animals to humans or a small number of spillovers involving very similar viruses. The researchers are from the infectious diseases division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and Biozentrum at the University of Basel in Switzerland.
The animal source of the outbreak hasn't yet been confirmed, though separate recent genetic analyses found that 2019-nCoV is most closely related to earlier viruses found in bats.
In the new findings, researchers suspect that the jump from animals to humans probably occurred recently, in November 2019 or in early December. Chinese health officials detected the outbreak in the middle of December, following a cluster of suspicious pneumonia cases in patients connected to a Wuhan seafood market, which also sold various live animals.
Some of the sequences confirm human-to-human transmission, including three sequences from Shenzhen that came from a single family, plus two nearly identical sequences from Zhuhai in Guangdong province, also from a single family.
The group praised teams that have shared the genomes, which were all submitted to GISAID (the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data). "We would like to acknowledge the amazing and timely work done by all scientists involved in this outbreak, but particularly those working in China," they wrote.
SARS was deadly to anyone 65 or older.
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... sed-upward
The fatality ratio (FOR SARS) is less than 1% for people younger than 25, 6% for those aged 25 to 44, 15% for those aged 45 to 64, and more than 50% for people 65 or older, officials said.
Scientists do not know if 2019-nCoV can be stopped, and it may be a new virus that we have to learn to live with!
Because it has not stopped mutating, and it is deadly, that would mean that the number of people that are infected or die due to the virus would change from year to year, like a ticking time-bomb.
https://www.statnews.com/2020/01/26/con ... perts-say/
Containing new coronavirus may not be feasible, experts say, as they warn of possible sustained global spread
Some infectious disease experts are warning that it may no longer be feasible to contain the new coronavirus circulating in China. Failure to stop it there could see the virus spread in a sustained way around the world and even perhaps join the ranks of respiratory viruses that regularly infect people.
“The more we learn about it, the greater the possibility is that transmission will not be able to be controlled with public health measures,” said Dr. Allison McGeer, a Toronto-based infectious disease specialist who contracted SARS in 2003 and who helped Saudi Arabia control several hospital-based outbreaks of MERS.
If that’s the case, she said, “we’re living with a new human virus, and we’re going to find out if it will spread around the globe.” McGeer cautioned that because the true severity of the outbreak isn’t yet known, it’s impossible to predict what the impact of that spread would be, though she noted it would likely pose significant challenges to health care facilities.
The pessimistic assessment comes from both researchers studying the dynamics of the outbreak — the rate at which cases are rising in and emerging from China — and infectious diseases experts who are parsing the first published studies describing cases to see if public health tools such as isolation and quarantine could as effective in this outbreak as they were in the 2003 SARS epidemic.
“Despite the enormous and admirable efforts in China and around the world, we need to plan for the possibility containment of this epidemic isn’t possible,” said Neil Ferguson, an infectious diseases epidemiology at Imperial College London who has issued a series of modeling studies on the outbreak.
There may be as many as 100,000 cases already in China, Ferguson told The Guardian newspaper on Sunday, adding the model suggests the number could be between 30,000 and 200,000 cases. “Almost certainly many tens of thousands of people are infected,” he told the British newspaper.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Sunday it is donating $10 million to the response to the virus. Half the money will be given to Chinese groups to help them in containment efforts. The other half will be given to the African Center for Disease Control to fund its efforts to help African countries prepare to have to cope with the new infection.
Tools like quarantine and isolation — which were key to controlling SARS — are unlikely stop spread of a virus that can transmit during the period from infection to symptoms, experts say.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency knows transmission of the virus within the United States may be on the horizon.
“We’re leaning far forward. And we have been every step of the way with an aggressive stance to everything we can do in the U.S.,” she told STAT. “And yet those of us who have been around long enough know that everything we do might not be enough to stop this from spreading in the U.S.”
Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, suggested the estimates are sobering and point to continued spread.
“If it’s not contained shortly, I think we are looking at a pandemic,” Bedford said, though he cautioned that it’s impossible to know at this point how severe that type of event would be.
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