Expert who helped tackle SARS warns the Chinese coronavirus outbreak could be at least 10 TIMES worse than the 2003 epidemic that left 775 dead

Thursday, January 23, 2020
By Paul Martin

Warning was issued by a leading virologist who helped identify the SARS virus
He told reporters the situation in epicentre Wuhan was already ‘uncontrollable’
He also claimed the authority missed the ‘golden period’ to control the outbreak
Wuhan, a provincial capital of 11million people, has been put under lockdown
Two more Chinese cities in the same province are shutting down transport today
The virus has killed 17 people, sickened 593 and spread to eight other territories

23 January 2020

A leading virologist who helped tackle the SARS epidemic in Asia in 2003 has warned that a new strain of deadly coronavirus from China could lead to an outbreak at least 10 times worse than the health crisis 17 years ago.

Dr Guan Yi, director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Hong Kong, confessed to Chinese media that the situation in Wuhan – where the virus originated – was already ‘uncontrollable’.

He also claimed that the Chinese authorities missed the ‘golden period’ to control the virus and prevent it from spreading.

‘I have experienced so much and never felt scared. Most [viruses] are controllable, but this time I am scared,’ Dr Guan told the press, predicting the worst is yet to come.

The expert, who was in Wuhan this week, claimed he had to ‘escape’ from the city yesterday after noticing the ‘jaw-droppingly’ lack of preventative measures enforced by the local authorities.

The new fatal virus, which emerged in Wuhan last month, has killed at least 17 people, sickened more than 590 and caused the central government to put the provincial capital of 11million under lockdown.

Its symptoms are typically a fever, cough and trouble breathing, but some patients have developed pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes inflammation of the small air sacs in the lungs.

Scientists in China have recognised its similarity to SARS, which turned into a global killer between 2002 and 2003.

SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by the SARS coronavirus, known as SARS Co, and first emerged in China in 2002.

By the end of a nine-month outbreak, the virus had spread to several other Asian countries as well as the UK and Canada, killing 775 and infecting more than 8,000.

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