The number of people infected with the mysterious virus that broke out in China in December is probably many times greater than has been assumed so far, writes BBC News. British scientists estimate the number of infections after investigation at around 1,700.
The study was conducted by the MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis in London, which provides advice to the British government and the World Health Organization (WHO), among others.
According to the researchers, it is unlikely that the virus has spread from one city, via three people, to other countries. According to them, it suggests that there must be many more cases than previously assumed.
The coronavirus broke out in December in the metropolis of Wuhan in eastern China.
It has now been officially established that 41 people have contracted the virus. Two people, both Chinese, have died of the virus so far. Cases are also known in Thailand and Japan.
The estimated number of 1,700 is based, among other things, on the pattern of the outbreak, the local population and flight data.
WHO warns of worldwide spread
The World Health Organization has warned of a possible worldwide spread of the virus.
There is still much unclear about the virus. Thus it is not yet certain that the disease can be transmitted from person to person. According to the researchers, it is therefore too early to raise a big alarm. Yet they are more concerned than a week ago.
The symptoms of the corona virus can range from a cold to a life-threatening form of pneumonia.
Airports in Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States, among others, have tightened their controls to prevent further spread.