There has been a huge spike of virus infection in recent days. The 2019-nCoV virus (now known as COVID-19) situation as at 13th February 2020: 1,489 dead, 6,984 recovered and 64,268 confirmed cases. Since 8th February 2020, the number of deaths has increased by another 675 deaths.
Compared to 8th February 2020, the fatality rate as at 13th February 2020 had increased from 2.17% to 2.32% but the recovery rate had improved from 7.77% to 10.87%. The number of confirmed cases in Malaysia unfortunately had also increased from 16 cases to 19 confirmed cases but without any fatality (Singapore also saw an increase from 40 to 58 cases todate). Image source: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering
New Name for 2019-nCoV virus
Seriously is this really necessary for the time being? Apparently the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has come up with a new name for the virus as severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.
However WHO is not happy about it and decided to use a different name – COVID-19 so that others will not be confused with the earlier SARS virus.
The UN health agency on Tuesday announced that “COVID-19” will be the official name of the deadly virus from China, saying the disease represented a “very grave threat” for the world but there was a “realistic chance” of stopping it.
“We now have a name for the disease and it’s COVID-19,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.
Tedros said that “co” stands for “corona”, “vi” for “virus” and “d” for “disease”, while “19” was for the year, as the outbreak was first identified on 31 December. Tedros said the name had been chosen to avoid references to a specific geographical location, animal species or group of people in line with international recommendations for naming aimed at preventing stigmatisation.
WHO had earlier given the virus the temporary name of “2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease” and China’s National Health Commission this week said it was temporarily calling it “novel coronavirus pneumonia” or NCP.
Virus Incubation Period is now 24 days
Now there is even bad news on the virus incubation period:-
The new coronavirus can have an incubation period of up to 24 days, scientists have discovered.
Currently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the period between exposure to the illness and the appearance of symptoms is a fortnight.
But experts in China have now found that the median incubation period is three days and ranges from zero to 24 days. Medical professionals said that if this proves correct, those in quarantine could expect to spend longer in isolation. In a press conference earlier on Monday, the WHO said outliers needed to be taken seriously but that at this point it would not be recommending that quarantine periods be extended.
A long incubation period could be due to the double exposure of a patient, it is said. It is understood there are no plans for UK health officials to extend the 14-day quarantine period currently in place.
Incubation period is defined as the time elapsed between exposure to a pathogenic organism, a chemical, or radiation, and when symptoms and signs are first apparent. In a typical infectious disease, incubation period signifies the period taken by the multiplying organism to reach a threshold necessary to produce symptoms in the host.
Death for Quarantined Patient
This is indeed extreme and crazy but considering the number of infected cases and the high number of deaths, it is understandable why North Korea decided with this:-
A North Korean official has been executed for going to a public bath while he was meant to be in quarantine, a report in the South has claimed. The trade official was arrested and immediately shot after risking the spread of coronavirus by visiting the public bath, the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported.
The official had been placed in isolation after travelling to China, with Kim Jong-un imposing military law to enforce the lockdown, sources said. North Korea has not yet confirmed any cases of the virus, but has taken drastic measures to stop it spreading over its border with China.
Unfortunately there are still people out there who are not taking the issue seriously – I still see sick people go about their business without wearing any facial mask, sneezing & coughing without covering their mouth. And after using the bathroom, don’t wash their hands with soap.
Self quarantine needs discipline and there have been cases where suspected patients like these 2 Russians had not quarantined themselves and potentially spread the virus to other healthy people.