As of Tuesday morning, the world has 20,626 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in various countries reported from 27 countries and administrative states, with 426 deaths.

Reports say 2,790 of those patients are in critical condition.

***We will update this post with new information

The virus is not a bioweapon: It evolved from a bat pathogen.

One of the most disturbing stories distributed widely on social media was that the virus was a bio-weapon genetically modified from HIV (human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS). Further evaluation shows that China’s coronavirus came from bats, with a 96% genetic match to samples of the pathogen.

Now, using samples from seven patients with severe pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, scientists have found striking similarities to coronavirus found in bats.

The DNA is also 79.5 per cent identical with the deadly SARS coronavirus, which suggests vaccines for the now non-existent virus may help with this epidemic.

…Although scientists stress the animal source of the recent outbreak in China is yet to be officially declared, experts have confirmed a wholesale animal market in Wuhan city is to blame.

A menagerie of live animals including koalas, rats and wolf pups were available at the Huanan Seafood Market in central Wuhan – the outbreak’s epicentre.

The timing is also suggestive as well. Legal Insurrection readers will recall that China has suffered from the African Swine Fever epidemic, and pork is an essential part of the Chinese diet. The Chinese were using wild animals as alternative protein sources.

The first American patient is recovering from his coronavirus infection.

The first recorded case in the US was that of a Seattle-area man. Good news: He is well on the road to recovery after the innovative use of antiviral treatment.

After testing positive for the deadly coronavirus, the patient was admitted to an isolation unit at Providence Regional Medical Center. On his sixth day of hospitalization, according to the NEJM, “clinicians pursued compassionate use of an investigational antiviral therapy.”

After treatment with the antiviral, Remdesivir, “the patient’s clinical condition improved.” The patient is still in the hospital, but all of his symptoms except a cough have resolved.

Remdesivir is made by the drug company Gilead Sciences. It is not yet licensed or approved but it is being tested as a coronavirus treatment.

China has agreed to allow American health experts into the country.

With concern growing that China has been hiding the scale of the outbreak, it is welcome news that the nation has agreed to allow American health experts into the country.

“China has accepted the United States’ offer to incorporate a group of experts into a World Health Organisation mission to China to learn more about and combat the virus,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

..The CDC meanwhile has sent four teams to US Defence Department facilities in preparation for the return of more Americans from the central city of Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, after the arrival last week of the first batch of 195 Americans on a government-chartered plane.

The new evacuees will be under mandatory quarantine for 14 days just like the 195 people, who are staying at March Air Reserve Base in California, Messonnier said.


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