(Yicai Global) Feb. 10 -- The incubation period of the novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia can be up to 24 days while the existence of super-transmitters cannot be excluded, according to a paper published yesterday by a team of top Chinese health experts.
Renowned respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan, the paper's lead author, is a Chinese academician who contributed significantly to China's fight against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003. He wrote the paper in collaboration with 37 medical experts from the frontline battle against 2019-nCoV, and published it on the academic site medRvix, where articles are not peer-viewed.
The researchers learned more about the virus by analyzing the largest sample of more than 1,000 patients (1,099 cases) to date.
The study concluded that the median incubation period of the new coronavirus was three days, with a maximum latent period of up to 24 days and a minimum of less than one day. The incubation period of 24 days is even longer than the previously projected 14 days.
In terms of clinical manifestation, fever (87.9 percent) and cough (67.7 percent) are the most common symptoms, but just 43.8 percent of patients had these symptoms when they turned to doctors for help. Diarrhea (3.7 percent) and vomiting (5 percent) are rarely seen. About 25.2 percent of the patients had at least one underlying disease such as high blood pressure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Only about 1 percent of patients had direct contact with wild animals and more than 75 percent of patients were residents of Wuhan, or those who had contact with people from the city, which is the epicenter of the outbreak. This provides further evidence that the novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia is contagious among humans, and the existence of super-transmitters cannot be ruled out.
Editor: Peter Thomas