By Kent R. Kroeger (January 31, 2020)
The news on the Wuhan Virus (2019-nCov) outbreak has been mostly negative in the barely two weeks it has been on the daily news agenda.
Here is a sampling just from this morning:
The New York Times reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) is now declaring a global health emergency due to 2019-nCov, after declining to make that declaration a week ago.
CNN reports on a German study published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine showing how people can spread the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCov) when they are asymptomatic. “There’s no doubt after reading this paper that asymptomatic transmission is occurring,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This study lays the question to rest.”
CNN also reports 62 countries have implemented some form of immigration control on Chinese citizens. “Six countries have tightened visa rules for Chinese citizens, four have restricted Chinese citizens’ entry into their countries, and five have launched restrictive measures on anyone from Hubei or with recent travel history to the province,” according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
AP reports that the American Airlines pilot union is suing to stop the carrier from flying to China, telling its pilots in a statement “not to operate flights there because of the spreading coronavirus outbreak.”
If you are starting to feel anxious about this fast-spreading virus, you cannot be blamed.
But here is some possible good news. According to WHO’s own data, the rate at which the virus is spreading is already declining, and if this trend continues, the worst may soon be over.
Figure 1 shows the day-to-day percentage increases in the number of confirmed 2019-nCov cases. Since the second day of WHO’s public reporting on 2019-nCov, the day-to-day percentage increases in the cumulative number of cases has been in a near straight-line decline.
Figure 1: Day-to-day % Change in Cumulative Total of 2019-nCov cases