Coronavirus cases skyrocket in China due to new diagnostic methods
Over the past day in the Chinese province of Hubei, which is the focus of the new coronavirus epidemic, 242 people have died from complications. According to the website of the committee on hygiene and health care in the region, there are a total of 1,310 deaths in the province, including 1,036 cases in Wuhan.
Thus, per day, mortality from the virus in Hubei increased by almost a quarter. On February 12, provincial authorities reported 1,068 victims of the disease. This is a record increase in the number of deaths from the virus: so far the largest increase in the number of deaths per day has been recorded on February 10 (103 new deaths), Reuters writes.
The Chinese authorities say that they switched to a new diagnostic technique and reviewed the previously diagnosed diagnoses: because of this, the number of recorded cases of infection has increased. So, in a day in Hubei, 14,840 new cases of infection with coronavirus were recorded. 13,436 of them are in the provincial capital. In total, 48,206 people fell ill in Hubei.
At the same time, 3441 patients were discharged from hospitals. During the day, their number increased by 802 people. 33 693 patients are still under treatment, 5647 of them are assessed as critical.
On the eve of Hong Kong authorities suggested that coronavirus could spread through sewer pipes. The hypothesis was born after an elderly woman who did not visit China and did not contact patients was infected with the coronavirus. However, a week earlier, her 75-year-old neighbor had been hospitalized with COVID-19. The woman did not intersect with the man, but their apartments were connected by a common sewer pipe, CNN reports.
Since infection through the sewage system in Hong Kong already occurred during the outbreak of SARS in 2002, the authorities evacuated part of the residents of the house just in case and began to check the water supply and sewage system. They did not find a virus in the system; they did not find the sick in the other apartments through which the suspicious riser was located (three people living in the same apartment as the sick woman had also detected a virus by that time).
However, experts found that in the apartment of one of the patients the sewer pipe was independently redone. Due to improperly created design, air from the toilet could go out. And since, according to experts, the virus can be transmitted through excrement, it is possible that in this way he moved from one apartment to another.
On February 8, Chinese doctors announced the possibility of a high number of false-negative results when tested for a new coronavirus. According to them, the probability of detecting the virus is highest in the study of swabs from the lower respiratory tract, while in the study of sputum the accuracy is lower. Throat swab analysis is even less reliable than sputum specimen testing. Another potential source of inaccurate results is the special quality confirmation procedure presented to diagnostic kits in an epidemic, which affects their sensitivity.