2019 Novel Corona virus (2019-nCoV): Global problem, Global solution
Dr. Dilip Elangbam, MD, FACP, CMD
Feb 11, 2020
Dr. Li Wenliang, 34-year-old ophthalmologist, and seven other friends first suspected a viral infection similar to SARS CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome corona virus) of 2002-03 in Wuhan, China on December 12, 2019. They warned their colleagues of the coming serious outbreak. It was perceived as a social outcry, and they were reprimanded by the authorities, but it was real. By December 30, 2019, the “outbreak” was official. On January 7, 2020, Chinese researchers showed the full genetic sequence of 2019 nCoV. It shared at least 80% viral genomes with SARS CoV and MERS CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome corona virus). It was thought to have started from a wet market in Wuhan, spillover of the virus to human from its primary reservoir, bats. The number of infected people were reported daily; it went up by 43% every day, and soon 3,000 every day, with a mortality rate of 2%. Wuhan is home to 15 million people. Approximately five million people fled before the whole city was quarantined on January 21, 2020.
An 11,000-bed hospital was constructed in 10 days, and every available convention center was open for people with this illness. Sixty million people locked down. Travel bans to China. Chinese New Year holiday extended by a week. The world’s second largest economy reeling under the pressure of an unprecedented situation never seen before. The death toll has surpassed SARS (774 deaths in 2002- 2003) and MERS (859 deaths in 2012). Death toll now stands above 1000 in mainland China, one in Philippines, and one in Hong Kong. Reported illness in 24 countries and five continents. We are barely two months into this human crisis. Remember the movie “
” Dr. Walter Ian Lipkin from Columbia University, famous for his work on SARS, helped to write the script. The drama in this movie is as close as you can get to 2019 novel corona virus epidemiology.