Virus incubation time could be 24 days: new study - RTHK
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Virus incubation time could be 24 days: new study

2020-02-10 HKT 19:17
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  • A study in which leading expert Zhong Nanshan took part has found that only 40 percent of the virus carriers initially developed a fever. File photo: RTHK
    A study in which leading expert Zhong Nanshan took part has found that only 40 percent of the virus carriers initially developed a fever. File photo: RTHK
A study by mainland experts says the incubation period for the new coronavirus could be as long as 24 days, though the average time among over 1,000 cases they examined was three days.

Zhong Nanshan, a leading epidemiologist in the country, is among the experts who studied nearly 1,100 patients.

They found that more than three quarters of them had been to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, or had contacted with those who did, but only 1 percent of confirmed cases had direct contact with wild animals.

They also said the mortality rate of the new virus is 1.4-percent, lower than Sars and Mers.

The study also pointed out that 44 percent of patients had fever in the early days. It said if only fever symptoms were taken to monitor new pneumonia cases, doctors may miss many cases.

Thermal imaging to check temperatures is one of the main measures introduced at airports and other places to screen potential virus victims.

Hong Kong authorities used this at the airport to screen visitors arriving by flight from Wuhan, until flights to the outbreak epicentre were stopped.

Some experts had warned that relying on temperature checks alone was inadequate. But Hong Kong Health Secretary Sophia Chan and other officials rejected such concerns.