Chinese authorities have confirmed a total of 213 deaths and more 9,000 cases due to the new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which means that they are transmitted between animals and people. Every decade, a zoonotic coronavirus crosses species to infect human populations. In this decade, we have a virus, first identified in Wuhan, China, in persons exposed to a seafood or wet market.
Coronavirus: How the disease develops
1. It has high mortality
Although the mortality rate is 3% currently, it is steadily increasing. Almost one third of patients require intensive care as they have developed acute respiratory distress syndrome.
2. Human-to-human infection is weak
Both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV infect intrapulmonary epithelial cells more than cells of the upper airways. Epithelial cells come from surfaces of your body, such as your blood vessels, skin, urinary tract, or organs. Consequently, transmission occurs primarily from patients with recognized illness and not from patients with mild, nonspecific signs.
3. It is more infectious to humans
Unlike SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV, 2019-nCoV grows better in primary human airway epithelial cells than in standard tissue-culture cells.
4. It is unlikely to spread by eating sea food in India
nCoV has been traced to snakes in China, who often hunt for bats in wild. So, it is unlikely to spread in India by eating sea food. As per reports, snakes were sold in the local seafood market in Wuhan, raising the possibility that the 2019-nCoV might have jumped from the host species — bats — to snakes and from them to humans at the beginning of this coronavirus outbreak. However, how the virus could adapt to both the cold-blooded and warm-blooded hosts remains a mystery.
5. It’s a large droplet infection
Transmission of 2019-nCoV probably occurs by means of large droplets and contact and less so by means of aerosols and fomites, on the basis of experience with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV