Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Coronavirus

The patient admitted in a hospital in Wuhan, China, infected at least 10 health care workers and four other patients with the coronavirus that has sickened more than 34,000 people, killed over 720 and reached two dozen other countries.

The case was just one disturbing detail in a new report on 138 patients in Wuhan that helps explain how the illness progresses and how it spreads.

A total of 284 persons have been probed for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as of Sunday noon, February 9, said the Department of Health (DOH).

This is up from the 267 recorded on Saturday noon, February 8. The DOH reported 17 new patients under investigation (PUIs).

Of the 284, 240 were admitted to hospitals, 15 refused hospitalization, and 24 have been discharged.

Two patients who were monitored for the virus have died of other ailments, not of 2019-nCoV, the DOH said.

The Philippines has 3 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, affecting patients who hailed from Wuhan – the epicenter of the outbreak – in Hubei province, China.

A Filipino in the United Arab Emirates has been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to government-run media in the Gulf state.

The official Emirates News Agency on Saturday reported two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus or 2019-nCoV. The other one is a Chinese national. This brings the total number of nCoV cases in the country to seven.

The patients are under observation and medical care compliant with health standards, the news agency said quoting the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

This is the second time that a Filipino tested positive for the nCoV. A Filipino seafarer was earlier confirmed to have contracted the virus while onboard a cruise ship in Japan. The Filipino was a crew member of the Diamond Princess where 537 other Filipinos were also quarantined.

The data on the patients shows that the illness caused pneumonia and a systemic viral infection that set off a powerful inflammatory response in the body, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said in an interview.

“There are biochemical indicators that a number of the body’s organ systems are likely affected and you have an inflammatory response that is disrupting their function to some extent,” Schaffner said.

The lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and the systems that control blood clotting are all affected, Schaffner said, though it is not clear that the virus itself infects organs other than the lungs.

The inflammatory response is a hallmark of a serious viral disease, he said, adding that in recent years it has become apparent that heightened inflammation from diseases like the flu can persist for a month or so after the acute illness is gone, and can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in older people.

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