Doctors:Coronavirus,Chimera of Two Different Viruses is Accelerating&Will Have Two Waves of Pandemic

Coronavirus is a Chimera meaning an organism that contains cells or tissues from two or more different species.

World Health Organization: 'The pandemic is accelerating'-WHO/CNN;

Coronavirus Could Be a 'Chimera' of Two Different Viruses, Genome Analysis Suggests;

Beijing's leading doctor warns of a NEW coronavirus outbreak in China after the country reported its first case of someone 'catching the illness from a person returning from abroad'

World Health Organization: 'The pandemic is accelerating'

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the coronavirus “pandemic is accelerating,” in a tweet on Monday.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the coronavirus “pandemic is accelerating,” in a tweet on Monday.

There are more than 381,000 cases of novel coronavirus and over 16,500 deaths globally, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking figures from the World Health Organization and additional sources.

Here's a rundown of countries that reported a spike in cases in the past 24 hours:

United States: More than 100 coronavirus-related deaths reported in a single day for the first time since the outbreak began. There are over 42,600 cases in the US -- 21,689 in New York state -- and at least 540 people have died.

Canada: A significant increase in cases reported, especially in its largest provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. On Monday, new cases spiked by nearly a third. There are at least 2,000 cases and 23 deaths nationwide.

Brazil: The ministry of health reported 1,891 cases in the country as of Monday, a spike of almost 400 new cases in a single day.

Italy: There were 601 new coronavirus-related deaths confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 6,077. The total number of cases there is 63,927.

China: Mainland China reported the first case in Hubei province in six days, according to China’s National Health Commission. It was among 78 additional cases reported as of the end of day Monday -- 74 of those were imported.

Singapore: There were 54 new reported cases on Monday, the city state's biggest one-day surge to date, taking the national total up to 509 cases.

Myanmar: The Southeast Asian country has recorded its first two cases of coronavirus, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported.

UK: At least 54 people have died in the UK from coronavirus in the past 24 hours. There have been 335 deaths and 6,700 cases nationwide.

Spain: The health ministry reported 33,089 total cases on Monday -- 4,517 more than Sunday, and 2,182 deaths -- 462 more than Sunday.

Iran: The country confirmed 1,411 new cases, bringing the total number to 23,049, on Monday. Iran also reported 127 new coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 1,812.

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Coronavirus Could Be a 'Chimera' of Two Different Viruses, Genome Analysis Suggests


24 MARCH 2020

In the space of a few weeks, we have all learned a lot about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it: SARS-CoV-2. But there have also been a lot of rumours.

And while the number of scientific articles on this virus is increasing, there are still many grey areas as to its origins.

In which animal species did it occur? A bat, a pangolin or another wild species? Where does it come from? From a cave or a forest in the Chinese province of Hubei, or elsewhere?

In December 2019, 27 of the first 41 people hospitalised (66 percent) passed through a market located in the heart of Wuhan city in Hubei province. But, according to a study conducted at Wuhan Hospital, the very first human case identified did not frequent this market.

Instead, a molecular dating estimate based on the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences indicates an origin in November. This raises questions about the link between this COVID-19 epidemic and wildlife.

Genomic data

The SARS-CoV-2 genome was rapidly sequenced by Chinese researchers. It is an RNA molecule of about 30,000 bases containing 15 genes, including the S gene which codes for a protein located on the surface of the viral envelope (for comparison, our genome is in the form of a double helix of DNA about 3 billion bases in size and contains about 30,000 genes).

Comparative genomic analyses have shown that SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the group of Betacoronaviruses and that it is very close to SARS-CoV, responsible for an epidemic of acute pneumonia which appeared in November 2002 in the Chinese province of Guangdong and then spread to 29 countries in 2003.

A total of 8,098 cases were recorded, including 774 deaths. It is known that bats of the genus Rhinolophus (potentially several cave species) were the reservoir of this virus and that a small carnivore, the palm civet (Paguma larvata), may have served as an intermediate host between bats and the first human cases.

Since then, many Betacoronaviruses have been discovered, mainly in bats, but also in humans. For example, RaTG13, isolated from a bat of the species Rhinolophus affinis collected in China's Yunan Province, has recently been described as very similar to SARS-CoV-2, with genome sequences identical to 96 percent.

These results indicate that bats, and in particular species of the genus Rhinolophus, constitute the reservoir of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

But how do you define a reservoir? A reservoir is one or several animal species that are not or not very sensitive to the virus, which will naturally host one or several viruses.

The absence of symptoms of the disease is explained by the effectiveness of their immune system, which allows them to fight against too much viral proliferation.

Recombination mechanism

On 7 February, 2020, we learned that a virus even closer to SARS-CoV-2 had been discovered in pangolin. With 99 percent of genomic concordance reported, this suggested a more likely reservoir than bats.

However, a recent study under review shows that the genome of the coronavirus isolated from the Malaysian pangolin (Manis javanica) is less similar to SARS-Cov-2, with only 90 percent of genomic concordance. This would indicate that the virus isolated in the pangolin is not responsible for the COVID-19 epidemic currently raging.

However, the coronavirus isolated from pangolin is similar at 99 percent in a specific region of the S protein, which corresponds to the 74 amino acids involved in the ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2) receptor binding domain, the one that allows the virus to enter human cells to infect them.

By contrast, the virus RaTG13 isolated from bat R. affinis is highly divergent in this specific region (only 77 percent of similarity). This means that the coronavirus isolated from pangolin is capable of entering human cells whereas the one isolated from bat R. affinis is not.

In addition, these genomic comparisons suggest that the SARS-Cov-2 virus is the result of a recombination between two different viruses, one close to RaTG13 and the other closer to the pangolin virus. In other words, it is a chimera between two pre-existing viruses.

This recombination mechanism had already been described in coronaviruses, in particular to explain the origin of SARS-CoV. It is important to know that recombination results in a new virus potentially capable of infecting a new host species.

For recombination to occur, the two divergent viruses must have infected the same organism simultaneously.

Two questions remain unanswered: in which organism did this recombination occur? (a bat, a pangolin or another species?) And above all, under what conditions did this recombination take place?

Alexandre Hassanin, Maître de Conférences (HDR) à Sorbonne Université, ISYEB - Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (CNRS, MNHN, SU, EPHE, UA), Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (MNHN).

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Beijing's leading doctor warns of a NEW coronavirus outbreak in China after the country reported its first case of someone 'catching the illness from a person returning from abroad'

  • China's coronavirus expert said she was 'very worried' about a second outbreak

  • She warned surging number of imported cases could trigger another epidemic 

  • Guangzhou yesterday reported a domestic case in relation to an imported case 

  • The man fell ill after having close contact with a woman returning from Turkey

  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?


PUBLISHED: 10:35 GMT, 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:35 GMT, 23 March 2020

One of China's top coronavirus experts has warned that the nation is facing a second outbreak due to the increasing number of infections detected among new arrivals from abroad.

Professor Li Lanjuan, a member of Beijing's expert team on the virus, said she was 'very worried that imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country'.

Her comment came after health officials reported the country's first case of someone who is believed to have contracted the disease, known as COVID-19, from another person returning from abroad.

It also came as life in former epicentre Wuhan is slowly returning to normal following a two-month draconian lockdown.

Professor Li Lanjuan (pictured), a member of Beijing's expert team on the virus, said she was 'very worried that imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country'

Her comment comes after the city of Guangzhou reported the country's first native coronavirus case 'related to an imported case' yesterday. The above picture shows medical staff treating COVID-19 coronavirus patients at a hospital in Wuhan on March 19

Prof Li, 73, told China News today that the control and prevention of imported cases was an 'arduous' task for medical workers. 

She said: 'This requires us to continue to intensify our efforts and work tirelessly to prevent the coronavirus pneumonia epidemic from spreading in other cities.'

Prof Li has led her medical team to fight the virus in Wuhan for more than 50 days.

She told state newspaper People's Daily in Wuhan: 'The mission in Wuhan has not been accomplished, and there are still many critical patients. Furthermore, I think the current situation in our country is very tough. 

'[I am] very worried that imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country.

'Can we make every effort to guard our country and prevent another epidemic from happening? This is a tough challenge.'

She also demanded officials identify those who were struck down by the virus but have not been officially diagnosed. She warned that they could re-ignite the epidemic.

Doctors in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, have diagnosed a coronavirus patient who fell ill after having close contact with a person entering China from Turkey.

This is the first coronavirus case in the country with a direct link to an imported case. The Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission called it 'a case related to an imported case' in a statement yesterday. 

The 54-year-old man, known by his surname Jin, experienced muscle pain and a lack of strength on March 17. He was hospitalised on March 20 with a slight fever and tested positive the next day.

Mr Jin was a close contact with another confirmed case, 34-year-old Ms Lin, who stayed in Istanbul from January 22 to March 8 on a business trip.

Ms Lin flew back to Guangzhou on March 9 via Bangkok. She did not show any symptoms upon entering the country and stayed at home most of the time afterwards.

She was diagnosed on March 21 after the city's infectious disease authority gave her a test.

People's Daily, the mouthpiece of China's Communist Party, warned of the emergence of Mr Jin's case.

In explaining its significance, the newspaper quoted health experts from Guangzhou and said: 'Cases related to imported cases are the second-generation cases brought in from abroad. It means the close contacts of [the imported cases] have been transmitted and fallen ill.' 

The official outlet urged all cities to put those arriving from virus-hit countries under 14-day mandatory quarantine even if they don't show symptoms. Those arriving from other countries should self-isolate for two weeks, the paper said.

Chinese health officials today reported no new local cases of the deadly virus but confirmed another 39 infections brought from overseas.

Worldwide, more than 14,740 people have been killed by the contagion and over 340,000 people have been infected.

People in central China where the coronavirus was first detected are allowed to go back to work and public transport is restarting, as some normality slowly returns after a two-month lockdown.

The easing of restrictions in Wuhan city comes as Chinese health officials reported Monday no new local cases of the deadly virus, but confirmed another 39 infections brought from overseas.

Wuhan residents considered healthy can move around the city and take the bus or metro so long as they show ID, officials said.

They can also go back to work if they have a permit from their employer, and leave the city for other parts of the surrounding Hubei province after being tested for the virus and receiving a health certificate.

The virus, which emerged in a market that sold wild animals in December, sparked a dramatic lockdown of the city on January 23 that was then widened to the rest of the province of nearly 60 million people.

Since then infections have slowed dramatically and for five straight days there have been no new cases in Hubei.

Another nine people died in Wuhan, the National Health Commission said Monday in its latest update.

The easing of restrictions follows Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the city earlier this month -- his first since the crisis erupted.

As the rate of infection slows in China, the rest of the world has stepped up measures to try and battle the raging pandemic.

China is anxious about an influx of infections brought in from other countries, with the number of imported cases climbing steadily in recent weeks to pass 350.

Of the 39 new cases reported Monday, 10 were in Shanghai and 10 were in Beijing.

Many cities have brought in tough rules to quarantine new arrivals.

Authorities have said all Beijing-bound international flights will be diverted to other cities where they will be screened for the virus to help make the process more efficient.

Those who get the all-clear will be allowed to continue to Beijing where they will still be sent to quarantine facilities.

There have now been over 81,000 cases in China, and the death toll has reached 3,270.


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