New cluster of cases shows coronavirus may be mutating

WION Web Team Beijing, China May 20, 2020, 07.28 PM(IST)

Coronavirus Photograph:( AFP )

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Scientists, however, are still doubtful over this delayed onset. Few believe the differences Chinese doctors are seeing could be due to the fact that they’re able to observe patients more thoroughly and from an earlier stage than in Wuhan. 

The new cluster of coronavirus cases in the northeast region of China is showing a different kind of manifestation among patients as compared to the original outbreak in Wuhan, doctors have found. 

This implies the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out.

Patients found in the provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang are carrying the virus for a longer period of time and are taking longer to test negative.

Patients in the northeast also appear to be taking longer to develop symptoms after infection, and this is making it harder for authorities to catch cases before they spread.

Scientists, however, are still doubtful over this delayed onset. Few believe the differences Chinese doctors are seeing could be due to the fact that they’re able to observe patients more thoroughly and from an earlier stage than in Wuhan. 

When the outbreak first exploded in Wuhan, the local health-care system was so overwhelmed that only the most serious cases were being treated. 

The northeast cluster is also far smaller than Hubei’s outbreak, which ultimately sickened over 68,000 people. Among the northeast cluster, only 10 per cent have turned critical and 26 are hospitalised.

Researchers worldwide are anyway trying to ascertain if the virus is mutating in a significant way to become more contagious as it races through the human population.