The world is on high health alert because of the coronavirus, which originated in China. There is a reason for the health scare. According to a top Hong Kong medical official, the virus could kill 45 million people and infect a whopping 60 percent of the global population if it is not under control.
Professor Gabriel Leung is the one making the claim and he said “if it reaches its potential, each infected person could give the virus to another 2.5, on average, sickening up to 60 percent of the world’s population,” The Daily Mail reported. Taking into account that the global population is more than 7 billion, the virus could infect more than 4 billion.
Currently, there are 43,000 cases worldwide so far, with more than 42,000 in China. The number of cases in the U.S. has been on the rise as well.
But World Health Organization chiefs have come out and said there is no need to panic yet. They urged virologists to stop “throwing around figures that there is no basis for.”
Mike Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, said: “Let’s be careful in throwing around figures, speculation and scaring people. I just caution everybody to not start throwing around figures that there is no basis for at the moment.”
In fact, the number of new cases reported in China daily has started to level off.
“More than 45,000 people in almost 30 countries have caught the never-before-seen virus, which has been named COVID-19. At least 1,100 have died,” The Daily Mail reported.
Governments across the world are working on ways to contain the virus. China, for example, has locked-down cities infected by coronavirus, including Wuhan where the virus was first reported.
Yet, another coronavirus expert says he knows when the virus “will burn itself out,” according to leaked analysis.
John Nicholls, a pathology professor at the University of Hong Kong, has claimed to know when the virus will become inactive.
“In a private conference call organized last week by CLSA, a brokerage firm based in Hong Kong, investment analysts had a chance to ask Nicholls, one of the world’s foremost experts on the topic, questions about the novel coronavirus. News of the private conference call was first reported by The Financial Times, and in the days since the call, more details of Nicholls’ analysis have surfaced on social media and elsewhere online, including a transcript of the call,” Yahoo reported.
In a transcript of the call, Nicholls said he believes weather conditions will be a key factor to the end of the coronavirus.
“Three things the virus does not like: 1. Sunlight, 2. Temperature, and 3. Humidity,” Nicholls said in response to a question about when he thinks confirmed cases will peak, the transcript showed.
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“Sunlight will cut the virus’ ability to grow in half so the half-life will be 2.5 minutes and in the dark it’s about 13 to 20 [minutes],” Nicholls said. “Sunlight is really good at killing viruses.”
This is why, he said, areas such as Australia, Africa, and the Southern hemisphere could experience high rates of infection because they are in the middle of summer.
“The virus can remain intact at 4 degrees (39 degrees Fahrenheit) or 10 degrees (50 F) for a longer period of time,” Nicholls said, referring to Celsius measurements, in the conference call. “But at 30 degrees (86 degrees F) then you get inactivation. And high humidity — the virus doesn’t like it either.”
When questioned about the probability of the coronavirus becoming endemic, Nicholls answered, “If it is like SARS it will not be endemic. It most likely will be a hit and run just like SARS.”
At the University of Hong Kong, Nicholls has spent the past 25 years studying coronavirus and he was a key member of the team that characterized SARS.
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