Home / news / 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.

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.

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.

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  1. Great, a bat pooped on a pig in China and now I have to get off the bus every time an old lady in the back starts coughing.

  2. >Prof Ferguson argues: “People should be considering the possibility of substantial human-to-human transmission more seriously than they have so far.
    “It would be unlikely in my mind, given what we know about coronaviruses, to have animal exposure be the principle cause of such a number of human infections.”

    Going to have to agree with that if the modeling is closer to the real number.

  3. > Professor Ferguson said it is “too early to be alarmist”

    Media: Hold my beer.

  4. Based on how the Chinese government were so open and honest about fully reporting the extent of the SARS outbreak, I find it unbelievable that they would under-report this latest outbreak.

    # /s

  5. This is the best tl;dr I could make, [original](https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51148303) reduced by 88%. (I’m a bot)
    *****
    > 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 41 laboratory-confirmed cases of the new virus, but UK experts estimate the figure is closer to 1,700.

    > Chinese officials say there have been no cases of the virus spreading from one person to another.

    > Analysis of the genetic code of the new virus shows it is more closely related to Sars than any other human coronavirus.

    *****
    [**Extended Summary**](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/eq81ro/the_number_of_people_already_infected_by_the/) | [FAQ](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/31b9fm/faq_autotldr_bot/ “Version 2.02, ~459621 tl;drs so far.”) | [Feedback](http://np.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%23autotldr “PM’s and comments are monitored, constructive feedback is welcome.”) | *Top* *keywords*: **cases**^#1 **more**^#2 **virus**^#3 **Wuhan**^#4 **number**^#5

  6. Hey Yall, so here is the deal. I read the ProMed listserve for infectious diseases as a hobby. Don’t ask. Here is what you need to know.

    1. China massively botched containment. They kept saying it was “rare” for human to human transmission. That is false. They kept zeroing in on one seafood market in Wuhan. They were trying to make it seemed localized and not contagious. Wrong.
    2. It has now spread to Thailand. 2 Cases. Human to Human Transmission.
    3. Also cases of course in Japan. Human to human. These people traveled from Wuhan area and have spread the disease to other countries.
    4. That isn’t the worst news. Promed has specialists who comment on official government press releases and news articles. That is where you find the good information. Here is a rundown of what they are saying

    1. Thailand’s Government is lying. In their press release they say ” People do not have to panic in Thailand; there is no outbreak at all.” But the mod comments by the specialist say: “I suspect there may already be significant ongoing transmission of this novel CoV ”
    2. Very little is know about the pathology of this disease: “Remember, on a global level, we’ve only known about this outbreak for less than 3 weeks, and about the virus approximately 10 days. ”
    3. There is a high probability this outbreak will spread to the USA. “I think it’s highly plausible there will be a case in the United States,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta, GA.” Promed mod: “Given the experience of Thailand and Japan, it will not be surprising if cases are found in the USA.”

    So there you go. A new virus that is now in a full outbreak mode. The good news is that the mortality rate is super low right now. The only deaths seem to be people with some sort of preexisting illness. But it is spreading far and wide, very fast. NYC, SF, and LA airports are starting to screen passengers from the Wuhan region, starting tomorrow. That is a big sign that there is some significant threat of this disease spreading to the US.

    Source: [https://promedmail.org/](https://promedmail.org/)

  7. Are we getting ready for Captain Tripps?

  8. Coronaviruses are no joke. SARS had a 1-in-10 fatality rate.

  9. The incubation period is 4 to 6 days, the japanese case was detected at 7. Makes sense, but the thai case was detected at 3 days.
    When it should have been incubating.
    So how was it detected ?

    Perhaps she bit another passenger
    *ominous music*

  10. This is undoubtedly true. But… The headline is also at least slightly alarmist in the way that most of the public would read it.

    Having more infections than the official confirmed cases will be true of practically all diseases and epidemics. This is just because no matter which disease in question, not all cases can be identified by health officials. The official tally contains only confirmed cases. This is even more challenging in cases where the disease cause nonspecific symptoms, often described as flu like. Plus, it’s also flu season and that masks some of the nCoV (novel coronavirus, the temporary name given to this new virus) infections and attributed to influenza instead. I’ve got flu like symptoms right now, how do I know it’s not the new CoV? It’s unlikely and I’ve never been to Wuhan, but I won’t know for absolute sure unless I get tested and the causative agent gets sequenced. That’s a lot of time and resources and it’s not feasible to do that for everyone showing flu like symptoms in the middle of flu season.

    If there are indeed some person to person transmission, it’s likely that the virus has also spread to other cities. It’s just that it’s super hard to detect because the resources for the tests are typically reserved for those risk groups that traveled in Wuhan.

    What is most likely happening is that sequencing tests for potential cases are typically done to patients that progress beyond the nonspecific symptoms, likely those that progress to pneumonia. Also keep in mind that not everyone will respond the same way to the same infectious disease agent. For all diseases, there will be a spectrum of host symptoms, ranging from absolutely nothing at all to full blown disease. Those with nCoV but with mild symptoms would probably just recover by themselves at home, and thus never be detected as a confirmed case and noone’s the wiser.

    To be honest, it’s likely for some person to person transmission to have occurred, given the recent data. I’d be concerned about superspreading events like with SARS, that for some damn reason, some hosts are just super efficient at spreading the disease, often without severe symptoms themselves. R0 value for the spreaders are magnitudes higher that the background R0 value of the disease. Plus, it’s near lunar new year and everyone disperses in China to go home and be with family. Lots of movement makes contact tracing and containment policies highly difficult if not impossible.

    The data extrapolation that the scientists in the article used to estimate the number of infections isn’t without merit but I can’t help but wonder if all it does right now is just spreading unnecessary concern. At least, at this time.

    Also edited to add, somebody fell ill to an unknown disease, and bam, ten days later, the causative coronavirus was sequenced and made available to world health databases. That’s impressive as hell to me.

  11. This is exactly how World War Z started. Mysterious sickness in China, Chinese government cover-up, eventual worldwide transmission, and *BAM!* Zombie apocalypse.

    Zombies may not be real, but the way Beijing’s responding to this? Frighteningly on the nose.

  12. Welp. Here we fuckin’ GO!!

  13. Is this related to the nasty ass flu that has been going around? Because I’m terrified.

  14. That’s the best way to play the game plague, infect as many as possible while they are unaware of the numbers, then mutate it to spread between ppl, until all ppl infected, then open the floodgates of more serious symptoms until ppl are dropping like flies. Oh yeah, it helps to start in Madagascar, but China is always a great second choice, greater density of higher population and all that.

  15. Is anyone even surprised that China manipulated numbers and distorted the truth to make themselves look better…again?

  16. I am in the US, but My office has a lot of people coming from china for some training and my colleagues are going to china next week, colleagues that I closely work with. How do I take care?

  17. You know this will be the end of us. Don’t worry about global warming, something nasty and incurable will ravage the human species and with things like being able to travel from one side of the planet to another in a day will mean we’re well and truly cattle trucked.

  18. Shame if Lebron James should happen to get this.

  19. Batton down the hatches, mates, another wave of “you need to be afraid of this!” is in queue.

  20. aw man. i dont know if i can trust the chinese government now

  21. I’ve played enough plague inc to see where this is going.

  22. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to start in Madagascar, but it miss-clicked and ended up in China…

  23. >is far greater than official figures suggest

    Ah, the joys of a completely non-transparent governemnt.

  24. Quick, everyone go to Greenland and close the 1port and airport. Then, when we reach 100%on the cure, we’re golden!

  25. Uhhhhh….. Everytime I go to the news it is always “we’re inches away from Doom!!!”

    Fuck off. I’m so desensitised by all these scare.

  26. And so God finally decided to install Plague Inc…

  27. stop eating pigs, bats, dogs, cats, birds. Protect the wildlife

  28. World War 3 Global pandemic the apocalypse is nigh

  29. Why does scientists always inform BBC?

  30. So no WW3, zombiepocalypse it is!

  31. Nothing to see here, the earth is just thinning out the herd…

  32. World war z’s virus started in china and only destroyed the world cause they wouldn’t admit their were wrong or didnt have it under control.

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