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Coronavirus in China: China’s new outbreak shows signs that coronavirus may be changing | World News


BEIJING: Chinese doctors are seeing coronavirus manifesting differently among patients in its new case group in the Northeast region compared to the original outbreak in Wuhan, suggesting that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicate efforts to eradicate it.
Patients found in the northern Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces appear to carry the virus for a longer period of time and take longer to recover, as defined by a negative nucleic acid test, said Qiu Haibo, one of the leading doctors at China’s critical care, to state television. on Tuesday.
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Cases in the northeast also appear to take more than a week or two in Wuhan to develop symptoms after infection, and this delayed onset makes it difficult for authorities to detect cases before they spread, said Qiu, who is now in the region. north treating patients.
“The longest period during which infected patients show no symptoms has created clusters of family infections,” said Qiu, who was previously sent to Wuhan to assist in the original outbreak. Some 46 cases have been reported in the past two weeks spread across three cities: Shulan, Jilin City and Shengyang, in two provinces, a resurgence of the infection that prompted new blockade measures in a region of 100 million people.
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Scientists still don’t fully understand whether the virus is changing significantly, and the differences Chinese doctors are seeing could be due to the fact that they can observe patients more thoroughly and from an earlier stage than in Wuhan. When the outbreak first exploded in the central city of China, the local health system was so overwhelmed that only the most serious cases were treated. The northeast group is also much smaller than the Hubei outbreak, which eventually sickened more than 68,000 people.
Still, the findings suggest that remaining uncertainty about how the virus manifests will hamper governments’ efforts to slow its spread and reopen their battered economies. China has one of the most comprehensive virus detection and testing regimes in the world, and yet it is still struggling to contain its new cluster.
Researchers around the world are trying to determine if the virus is mutating significantly to become more contagious as it progresses through the human population, but early research suggesting this possibility has been criticized for exaggerating.
Northeast differences
Qiu said doctors have also noted that patients in the northeast group appear to have damage primarily to the lungs, while patients in Wuhan suffered multiple organ damage to the heart, kidneys and intestine.
Authorities now believe the new group stemmed from contact with infected arrivals from Russia, which has one of the worst outbreaks in Europe. Genetic sequencing has shown a match between the northeast cases and those related to Russia, Qiu said.
Among the northeast group, only 10% have become critical and 26 are hospitalized.
China is aggressively moving to stop the spread of the new group ahead of its annual political meeting in Beijing scheduled to begin this week. As thousands of delegates enter the capital to support the government’s agenda, China’s central leadership is determined to project stability and control.
Northeast provinces have ordered the return of closure measures, the interruption of train services, the closure of schools and the closure of residential complexes, dismaying residents who thought the worst was over.
“People should not assume the peak has passed or let their guard down,” Wu Anhua, a senior infectious disease doctor, said on state television Tuesday. “It is entirely possible that the epidemic will last a long time.”
On video: Does China’s new outbreak show signs that the coronavirus is changing?

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