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Expert expects novel coronavirus to continue spreading for another two weeks

According to the expert, Russia has taken appropriate security measures

NOVOSIBIRSK, January 29. /TASS/. The 2019-nCoV coronavirus will continue to spread for another two weeks, head of the Laboratory of Bio-Nanotechnology, Microbiology and Virology at Novosibirsk State University Sergei Netesov told a news conference at a TASS press center on Wednesday.

"The current situation is as follows… the virus is less pathogenic than the one that caused atypical pneumonia in 2003, as the death rate is less than five percent. The number of infection cases is likely to grow for another week or two," he pointed out.

According to Netesov, Russia has taken appropriate security measures and the country’s academic community is now better prepared than it was during the outbreak of atypical pneumonia in 2003. "This virus is quite different from the flu virus because its incubation period is longer, and this is why there can be people who carry the virus but are not yet sick," the expert explained.

On December 31, 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. On January 7, Chinese experts identified the 2019-nCoV coronavirus as the cause of the disease.

According to recent data, over 6,000 cases of patients infected with the virus and more than 130 deaths have been confirmed in China. Coronavirus cases have also been reported in 15 other countries. The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of national concern and sent its experts to China.