New virus discovered by Chinese scientists investigating pneumonia outbreak

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Chinese scientists investigating a mystery illness that has sickened dozens in central China have discovered a new strain of coronavirus, a development that will test the country’s upgraded capabilities for dealing with unfamiliar infectious diseases.

The novel coronavirus was genetically sequenced from a sample from one patient and subsequently found in some of the others affected in the city of Wuhan, people familiar with the findings said. Chinese authorities haven’t concluded that the strain is the underlying cause of sickness in all the patients who have been isolated in Wuhan since the infection first broke out in early December, the people said.

Chinese state media reported Thursday that the unidentified pneumonia “is believed to be a new type of coronavirus,” citing experts. State media reported that the results were preliminary and more research was needed to understand the virus.

There are many known coronaviruses—some can cause ailments like common colds in humans, while others don’t affect humans at all. Some—such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS-coronavirus, identified in 2003—have led to deadly outbreaks, lending urgency to efforts to contain the current situation.

More from The Wall Street Journal


Advertisements