The cause of an outbreak of unknown pneumonia in China was a new coronavirus, a relative of the causative agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
According to CNN, in late 2019 and early 2020, about 60 cases of unknown pneumonia were reported in China. Scientists were able to detect a new type of coronavirus in 15 of 57 patients with this disease in Wuhan.
Coronavirus is a large group of viruses that cause diseases of varying severity - from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome. During the 2002-2003 pandemic, more than 8,000 people fell ill with SARS, of which 774 died. The viruses in this group also cause another disease known as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. This disease has claimed 851 lives in recent outbreaks.
The new coronavirus, apparently, is not as life-threatening as the causative agents. No deaths have been recorded associated with it, but 7 patients were in critical condition. The disease is manifested mainly by fever. Some patients also have breathing problems.
The routes of transmission of the new coronavirus have not yet been adequately studied, but there is currently no evidence that it can be transmitted from person to person. There is an assumption that people can become infected with this virus from animals, since some patients with this disease worked in the seafood market, which also sells animals, including birds and rabbits.
World Health Organization experts have banned the coming weeks to provide new, more complete information about the new virus.