Coronavirus update: Number of infected ‘certainly’ higher than Chinese authorities admit #coronavirus #wuhan #china #emergency
CHINA’S coronavirus epidemic has infected considerably more people than what the Chinese authorities have reported, a health expert has warned.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has killed at least 565 people and infected more than 28,000 globally. But Dr Paweł Grzesiowski, an immunologist from the Medical Centre of Postgraduate Education in Warsaw, Poland, fears the number of infections has been severely underestimated.
The health expert said overloaded waiting rooms, inefficient laboratories and lacklustre screening has likely skewed the official figures.
He told Polska Times: “I am, unfortunately, certain this is not the actual scale of the epidemic.
“All the official announcements only provide the number of laboratory-confirmed infections.
“We know that both the efficiency of laboratories and the amount of collected materials is disproportionate to what is actually going on there.
“After all, if a thousand patients report to a doctor one day, not everyone can be tested within 24 hours.
“The number of infected is certainly higher than what official communications have said.
“We will probably never know the real numbers because some patients do not receive any tests at all, only die or are treated – and these cases are never registered and thus never confirmed.
“But we don’t need the number of ill to describe the danger because even underestimated but regularly collected figures allow us to evaluate the situation.”
The opinion was shared by Professor David Heymann, who said the numbers are always probably greater.
The coronavirus first appeared in December last year in China’s Wuhan City, Hubei Province and the pathogen has spread like wildfire.
The virus has been confirmed in 27 countries outside of mainland China, including three infections in the UK.
After China, Japan has suffered the highest number of infections with 45 people being treated for coronavirus.
Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea follow with 28, 25, 24 and 23 infections respectively.
In response to the scale and rapid spread of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called the epidemic a global emergency.
On Wednesday, February 5, the WHO revealed nearly 4,000 new infections were confirmed in just 24 hours.
The risk assessment for China was ranked as “Very High” and the global risk was “High”.
The coronavirus family of pathogens target the lungs, triggering symptoms often mistaken for the common cold or flu.
Symptoms start with fever and dry cough, before developing into breathing difficulty.
If left untreated, the coronavirus can induce pneumonia, kidney failure and death.
The WHO has urged people to avoid close contact with people suffering from respiratory infections.
Frequent hand washing is also advised, especially after contact with ill people.
The WHO said: “People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette – maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands.
“Within healthcare facilities, enhance stand infection preventions and control practices in hospital, especially emergency departments.”
Courtesy of express.co.uk