Incubation Period of New Coronavirus Can Be As Long As 24 Days
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The incubation period of a new strain of coronavirus currently ravaging China can be as long as 24 days, a new study revealed.
At present, scientists believe the novel coronavirus has an incubation period - the time between it entering the body and the last point at which it could cause symptoms - of around 14 days.
And anyone suspected to be infected with the deadly disease is advised to be put under quarantine for two weeks right now in China and beyond.
The fast-spreading disease has killed at least 910 people and infected more than 40,640 globally.
People can be infected by being exposed to virus-carrying saliva or touching contaminated surfaces.
Beijing officials previously claimed that the disease could be contagious even before symptoms show.
The new revelation emerged in a study published yesterday by a group of Chinese researchers on medRxiv, a preprint site for scientific medical papers.
The report was written by 37 specialists, including Dr Zhong Nanshan, who is the leader of a team of medical experts appointed by China's National Health Commission to deal with the novel coronavirus.
The team collected data from 1,099 confirmed coronavirus patients at 552 hospitals in 31 Chinese provinces and municipalities, the report said.
Analysis found that the average incubation period was three days - shorter than 5.2 days suggested in a previous paper - but the range of the a patient's incubation period could extend from zero to 24 days.
However, very few sufferers are believed to have showed symptoms after more than three weeks because the median figure is much closer to the lower end.
The new study was funded by four Chinese authorities: Ministry of Science and Technology, National Health Commission, National Natural Science Foundation and Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province.
It has not been evaluated by other scientists and its findings should not be used to guide clinical practice, according to the website.
The authors also said that they could not preclude the presence of 'super-spreaders'.
The Mayor of Wuhan, Zhou Xianwang, last month admitted that 14 medics in the city had caught the virus from one patient because the hospital had neglected the sufferer's symptoms.
Another confirmed patient from Britain has so far spread the disease to 11 other people after catching the virus in Singapore and then heading to France for a holiday - before returning to the UK.
Nearly 100 people died of coronavirus yesterday on the deadliest day of the outbreak so far.
The death toll in mainland China rose by 97, taking the number of global fatalities to 910.
Another 3,062 cases were reported in China yesterday - an increase of 15 per cent compared to Saturday which put an end to a series of daily declines.
China said today that 27 foreigners had been infected with the virus in the country, including two of the country's 908 deaths.
Two people have died outside mainland China, one in Hong Kong and the other in the Philippines, taking the global toll to 910.
More than 360 cases of the virus have been confirmed outside China, bringing the total to at least 40,531.
The fatality toll has passed the 774 people believed to have died in the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, another viral outbreak that originated in China.
The total of more than 40,000 confirmed cases of the new virus vastly exceeds the 8,098 sickened by SARS.
The rise in China's death toll occurs as millions of people return to work today after an extended Lunar New Year holiday.
Hong Kong has reported seven more cases, raising its total to 36 after the virus spread at a family gathering attended by two relatives from mainland China.
Meanwhile in Japan, another 60 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were today confirmed to have the virus, taking the total to around 130.
Passengers on the ship have been confined to their cabins in a two-week lockdown with confirmed virus patients taken to hospital on the mainland.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there are tentative signs the virus was stabilizing, but said there may be more infections abroad in people who have never travelled to China.