China researchers identify two coronavirus types, Latest World News - The New Paper

China researchers identify two coronavirus types

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SHANGHAI : Scientists in China studying the coronavirus outbreak said they had found that two main types of the disease could be causing infections.

The researchers, from Peking University's School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, cautioned that their analysis examined a limited range of data, and said follow-up studies of larger data sets are needed to better understand the evolution of the virus.

The preliminary study found that a more aggressive type of the new coronavirus associated with the disease outbreak in Wuhan accounted for about 70 per cent of analysed strains, while 30 per cent was linked to a less aggressive type.

The prevalence of the more aggressive virus decreased after early January, they said.

"These findings strongly support an urgent need for further immediate, comprehensive studies that combine genomic data, epidemiological data, and chart records of the clinical symptoms of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)," they wrote.

Their findings were published on Tuesday in the National Science Review, the journal of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Also yesterday, one of China's top medical associations confirmed that the median incubation period of the coronavirus is five to seven days, and the maximum, 14 days.

The remarks by chairman of the critical care medical branch of the Chinese Medical Association Du Bin, mark the most conclusive assessment of the virus' incubation period by a government-affiliated medical organisation to date.

The revelations came amid a fall in new cases, following crippling restrictions imposed on the world's second largest economy to stop its spread.

China is encouraging domestic producers of medical protective equipment to export protective suits to meet overseas demand as the virus spreads, an official with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology saidyesterday.

China's health authorities are also studying setting up emergency reserves for medical resources and protective materials, said an official at China's National Health Commission. - REUTERS