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Current Affairs

Human-to-human transmission of Coronavirus seen in Germany

Date: 02 February 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The case of a German adult who acquired novel coronavirus infection locally in Munich from a Chinese is the second reported case of a person human-to-human transmission in the incubation period.

 

Background

It also reports the first known case of fourth-generation transmission of the novel virus outside China. A study sheds more light on how people who are asymptomatic for the virus can infect others.

 

Details

  • Though nine cases of human-to-human transmission have been reported from five countries, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, the U.S. and South Korea, all local transmission had occurred only among people who had come in contact with an infected person who had recently visited China.

  • The  persons recovering from illness can have huge viral load. This raises concern about prolonged shedding of the virus even after recovery.

  • Chinese researchers have also warned that the novel virus might be spreading even during the incubation period when symptoms do not show up.

  • In the case of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) people began spreading the virus only after they developed symptoms. But the novel coronavirus seems to be behaving like influenza and measles where people can spread the virus even before symptoms show up.

  • Unlike in the case of Ebola where the virus spread happens only after symptoms show up, symptomless spreaders like the novel coronavirus will make it difficult to contain the spread.

  • Also, while Ebola spreads only through contact with body fluids, the novel coronavirus, SARS and influenza can spread through air droplets, making it even more easy for the virus to spread and even more difficult to contain the spread.