An updated analysis today casts doubt on whether China will be able to contain its novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic, as the country reported 440 new cases and Australia and Malaysia announced their first detections.
In scientific developments, a new analysis of 24 genetic sequences suggests that the outbreak probably began with a single introduction of a virus, presumably in the Wuhan market in November or early December, triggering a quickly spreading outbreak in humans that has now topped 1,400 cases in China.
Sustained transmission fueling outbreak
The new analysis on 2019-nCoV transmissibility was released today by a group based at Imperial College London that made two earlier projections on the number of symptomatic illnesses in Wuhan.
The report focuses on transmissibility, and the scientists say sustained human-to-human transmission is the only explanation for the large-scale outbreak in Wuhan. They add that today’s report is an extended version of what they shared with the World Health Organization, governments, and academic networks earlier this week.
They estimate that the reproduction number (R0), the average number of illnesses spread by one infected person, is 2.6…
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