We know the Wuhan novel coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation has now named formally COVID-19, is extremely contagious. But just how contagious on a scale can the coronavirus get? Well, in a report by The Guardian, things may turn out to be more virulent than we had initially thought, something which the WHO also agrees when they said that what we are seeing now is only ‘the tip of the iceberg’, as New York Magazine reports.
Speaking to one of Hong Kong’s top epidemiologists (the field of study which involves the spreading of diseases) Prof Gabriel Leung, who is the Chair of Public Health Medicine at Hong Kong University, told The Guardian that the biggest issue that public health authorities must face is figuring out the proper measures to ensure that the virus is contained.
As of the moment, most experts have agreed that the infected patients could go on to infect 2.5 other people on average.
Given that figure, this means that globally, over 60% of the population could be infected with the novel coronavirus, if proper measures are not taken to safeguard the public at large.
However, do bear in mind that the mortality rate of the novel coronavirus has dropped to less than 1%, while researchers across the globe scramble to try and tackle the biggest issue at hand: finding a vaccine or a possible cure to the virus.
“Is 60-80% of the world’s population going to get infected? Maybe not. Maybe this will come in waves. Maybe the virus is going to attenuate its lethality because it certainly doesn’t help it if it kills everybody in its path, because it will get killed as well,” said Professor Leung.
He is also advising other countries to possibly look into China’s approach to containing the spread of the virus, to see if there can be any lessons to learn and apply in their own respective nations.
While reports are coming in that more people are getting better from the novel coronavirus infection, it is still mind-boggling to think that over 60% of the world could be infected with the virus, if measures are not taken to stop its path!
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