30 Jan 2020
10-year-old boy who had coronavirus 'without symptoms' raises fears
Reportedly, the boy exhibited no symptoms that he was actually carrying the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Experts said that front-line screening methods, the kind used at airports, would not be able to identify such infected persons.
Boy's family visited Wuhan in December to visit sick relatives
The 10-year-old boy's case was published in the medical journal Lancet on January 24 to demonstrate person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus.
The boy's family hails from Shenzhen in southeastern China and had reportedly visited relatives in Wuhan (Hubei province) on December 29. They also visited a relative who was in the hospital.
Two days later, Hubei authorities announced unexplained pneumonia cases among 27 people.
Parents diagnosed with coronavirus; insisted on testing 10-year-old
Three-five days after the family visited relatives in Wuhan—the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak—several developed symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, and diarrhea.
The boy showed no symptoms, however, he was tested for the virus "on the insistence by the nervous parents."
A viral analysis then confirmed that the boy, in fact, was infected by the novel coronavirus and was capable of transmitting it.
'Symptoms in infants, children comparatively mild'
Deputy Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Feng Zijian, told reporters Wednesday, "Children and infants' symptoms are comparatively mild, while older people have more severe symptoms, as of our findings so far."
Asymptomatic people may 'feel fine', but continue spreading disease
Microbiology and Immunology Professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health (University of North Carolina), Ralph Baric, told Bloomberg that there may be "mild disease spreaders" who may not visit the doctor because they feel fine.
However, they could still transmit the disease to others, feeding to a community outbreak, Baric said.
Notably, Baric has studied coronaviruses for decades.
2019-nCoV originated in Wuhan, spread to over 15 countries worldwide
The 2019-nCoV was first detected in mid-December in Wuhan and has since spread to all 31 provinces and regions in China.
This despite authorities placing over a dozen cities in Hubei on lockdown.
The coronavirus has also spread to around 15 other nations in North America, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, etc.
Earlier today, India reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus in Kerala.
What is the coronavirus outbreak?
The current outbreak involves a new strain of coronavirus (2019-nCov) and hence, there's no medicine, treatment or vaccine for it yet.
The virus impacts a host's respiratory system and causes symptoms like cough, breathing difficulties, fever, and in severe cases, pneumonia, multiple organ failure or even death.
The outbreak had killed 170 people and infected over 7,700 people in China till Thursday.