Coronavirus could infect 60% of the world's population if it is left 'unchecked,' a leading disease expert warned
Current rates of coronavirus infection suggest that 60-80% of the global population could potentially get the virus if it is not brought under control, reports The Guardian. Dr Gabriel Leung told the paper that experts must assess how well Chinese containment efforts have worked so far, in case other countries should be replicating those measures. His comments come as the World Health Organization (WHO) starts a two-day meeting to accelerate scientific understanding and the global response to the viral outbreak. The WHO director Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted on Sunday that the relatively small number of cases outside of China may yet be "the tip of the iceberg."
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A leading epidemiologist has suggested that without effective control, the coronavirus could infect between 60% of the world's population due to its current estimated "attack rate," if it is left "unchecked." "60% of the world's population is an awfully big number," Dr Gabriel Leung told The Guardian's Sarah Boseley. The paper reports that it is based on the rate at which infected people are passing the virus on — which experts believe currently stands at 2.5 people per sufferer, according to Reuters. Dr Leung, a SARS expert who also managed Hong Kong's response to the swine flu outbreak of 2009, spoke to The Guardian en route to a global research forum currently being convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in response to the coronavirus crisis.
His priority at the WHO meeting will be to call for an urgent assessment of which of containment measures trialed in China have actually worked — and, if necessary, to impose them in other affected countries. His comments come after the WHO director Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that infection rates outside of China could "accelerate" and be "the tip of the iceberg."
There’ve been some concerning instances of onward #2019nCoV spread from people with no travel history to 🇨🇳. The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg. — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 9, 2020
In an opinion piece for The New York Times, Dr Leung outlined the questions that the epidemiologists, public health experts, politicians and health research funders will bring to the WHO meeting. "In magnitude, scale and velocity, this coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, is too big a problem for any one team to solve," he wrote. The death toll from the virus topped 1,000 people on Monday, Chinese authorities said. He added: "We need to get a clear view of the contagion and plug the holes in our understanding of the disease to inform public health decisions that affect hundreds of millions of lives." Doctors at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have estimated that the virus will peak in mid-February, by which pointit is set to infect around 500,000 people in the city of Wuhan where it originated. In his NYT op-ed, Dr Leung pointed out that scientists must now get a handle on the "clinical iceberg," that is, what number of cases are going undetected. Some only get mild symptoms of the coronavirus or go without symptoms at all for up to two weeks. "Out of view is some proportion of mildly infected people, with minor symptoms or no symptoms, who no one knows are infected," he wrote.
However, he warned that calculating this with such a fast-moving situation is not as simple as it sounds. Mysteries remain for scientists at the WHO meeting to look at. "The challenge involves trying to quantify how many infections were actually prevented through measures such as wearing masks, closing schools and locking down cities," he wrote. In an earlier report for The Lancet on January 31, Dr Leung and colleagues wrote that authorities should be prepared to impose "substantial" and "immediate" public health measures to prevent "self-sustaining outbreaks" of the virus in major cities outside of China. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A 45-year-long study discovered trends in successful hyper-intelligent children
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The WHO has confirmed that the coronavirus death rate is 3.4% — higher than earlier estimates. Older patients face the highest risk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday confirmed that the global death rate for coronavirus is...The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday confirmed that the global death rate for coronavirus is 3.4% — higher than earlier estimates of about 2%. In contrast, the seasonal flu kills far less than 1% of those infected. It's also important to remember that the fatality rate of the disease is based on several factors, including where a patient is being treated, their age, the severity of the disease, and any pre-existing health conditions they might have. Experts have also predicted that the fatality rate of the disease will likely decrease as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The World Health Organization confirmed on Tuesday that the global death rate for the novel coronavirus is 3.4% — higher than earlier estimates of about 2%. The coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed more than 3,100 people and infected nearly 93,000 as of Tuesday. The virus causes a disease known as COVID-19. Speaking at a media briefing, Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that, globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. In contrast, the seasonal flu kills far less than 1% of those infected. The mortality rate of coronavirus will also likely change as more cases are confirmed, and experts predict the percentage of deaths will decrease as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise. "There's another whole cohort that is either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a briefing last month. "We're going to see a diminution in the overall death rate." 'It is a unique virus with unique characteristics' Tedros noted differences between the coronavirus and other infectious diseases, like MERS, SARS, and influenza. He said that data suggests COVID-19 does not transmit as efficiently as the flu and that people who are infected but not yet sick with the flu are major transmitters of the disease, which does not appear to be the case for coronavirus. He added that COVID-19 appears to cause a "more severe disease" than the seasonal flu, and explained that while people around the world may have built up an immunity to the flu over time, the novelty of the coronavirus means no one yet has immunity, and more people are susceptible to infection. "It is a unique virus with unique characteristics," he said. Tedros said last week that the mortality rate of the disease can differ greatly based on the country of treatment. He added that people with mild cases of the disease will recover in about two weeks, and those with severe cases may take three to six weeks to recover. Despite the higher global death rate, the number of fatalities is based on several factors The fatality rate of the disease is based on several factors, including where a patient is being treated, their age, the severity of the disease, and any pre-existing health conditions they might have. Coronavirus cases have been reported in at least 76 countries, with a vast majority occurring in China. A study conducted last month from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the virus most seriously affected older people with preexisting health problems. The data suggests a person's chances of dying from the disease increase with age. Notably, the research showed that patients ages 10-19 had the same chance of dying from COVID-19 as patients in their 20s and 30s, but the disease appeared to be much more fatal in people ages 50 and over. About 80% of coronavirus cases are mild, the research showed, and experts think many mild cases haven't been reported because some people aren't going to the doctor or hospitals for treatment. Here's how the coronavirus compares with a handful of other major outbreaks. Aria Bendix contributed reporting. Read more: Everything we know about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak Men represent the majority of coronavirus cases so far. Researchers think smoking could play a role. As the coronavirus outbreak worsens outside of China, hopes of containing it are diminishing Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 9 items to avoid buying at Costco
WHO director says there's a need to prepare for a 'pandemic' but global markets should 'calm down' as coronavirus wreaks havoc on the economy
The director-general of the World Health Organization said global markets should "calm down and try to...The director-general of the World Health Organization said global markets should "calm down and try to see the reality" as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global economy. His caution comes just after the S&P 500 closed out its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. "We need to go into the numbers, we need to go into the facts, and do the right thing instead of panicking," Ghebreysus said, according to CNBC. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Amid global panic around the spread of coronavirus, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), called on global markets to "should calm down and try to see the reality." "We need to continue to be rational. Irrationality doesn't help. We need to deal with the facts," Ghebreyesus said Sunday during a panel discussion at the King Salman Humanitarian Aid Center's International Humanitarian Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to CNBC. His comments came after stocks closed at an all-time high on February 19, but just over a week later, on February 28, the S&P 500 finished its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, as Markets Insider reported. The Dow Jones dropped 3,500 points over the week, 12% higher than its largest weekly point loss in history and the biggest percentage loss in over a decade, CNBC reported. The coronavirus outbreak's impact on the economy could be the worst seen since the 2008 crash, strategists at Bank of America said, according to Markets Insider. The virus, which is believed to have originated at the end of last year in Wuhan, China, has spread to over 50 countries. The outbreak has so far killed at least 2,976 people and infected more than 86,000, mostly in China. WHO has hesitated to call the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, but some health experts say that it is. On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first the US reporterd its first coronavirus death. At a press conference confirming the death, Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, announced new measures to attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus, including expanding travel restrictions and raising warnings against traveling to certain regions with a growing number of cases. Still, Ghebreyesus said he believed that containing the virus and stopping its spread remained likely. "Based on the facts on the ground, containment is possible," he said, CNBC reported. "But the window of opportunity for containing it is narrowing. So we need to preparing side by side for a pandemic." Ghebreyesus added that the virus could "change direction" and become "worse," according to the Sunday report, but urged the public to focus on facts rather than fear. "We need to go into the numbers, we need to go into the facts, and do the right thing instead of panicking. Panic and fear is the worst," he said. Read more: Nike closed its worldwide headquarters in Oregon for deep-cleaning after the 1st US coronavirus death 2 US grad students who were on the Diamond Princess cruise share harrowing details and photos from their quarantine and 'zombie movie' evacuation 15 mistakes by public health officials and ordinary people that helped spread the coronavirus around the world I survived swine flu as a teenager and it taught me one crucial lesson about life during an epidemic: Don't panicJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A big-money investor in juggernauts like Facebook and Netflix breaks down the '3rd wave' firms that are leading the next round of tech disruption
Australian man in his 70s was passenger on Diamond Princess cruise ship; France and Italy restrict...Australian man in his 70s was passenger on Diamond Princess cruise ship; France and Italy restrict public events as cases spread. Follow live newsFirst coronavirus death in the US as Italy and France cancel public eventsTrump fends off criticism of ‘hoax’ remark after first US coronavirus death‘Very high risk’: Australia adds Iran to coronavirus travel ban‘To hell and back’: my three weeks suffering from coronavirusYes, it is worse than the flu: busting the coronavirus myths 2.13am GMT If you’re just catching up with the latest news on the virus, outbreak, a reminder that the World Health Organization has raised the risk assessment “very high” globally. It also said the risk within #China remains unchanged as “very high.”The WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the risk level had been elevated for two reasonsThank you, @tiktok_us for your efforts and help to ensure your users are accessing reliable #COVID19 information. Beating the infodemic will help us defeat #coronavirus. https://t.co/cx3QJ6TlMl 1.57am GMT South Korea has recorded 376 more Covid-19 cases, taking the country’s total to 3,526. Seventeen people have died. Of the 376 new cases, 333 were in Daegu, 300km southeast of Seoul, which has been at the centre of the outbreak linked to the. Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Continue reading...