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Scale of coronavirus epidemic in China surpasses atypical pneumonia outbreak of 2003

The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in China has reached 5,974

BEIJING, January 29. /TASS/. The scale of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) transmission has exceeded the outbreak of atypical pneumonia (SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) of 2002-2003, which lasted more than six months.

A total of 5,327 people were infected with SARS during the outbreak of atypical pneumonia, which lasted from the end of 2002 to August 2003, killing 349 people.

Meanwhile, the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in China has reached 5,974, and the death toll from the outbreak has climbed to 132, China's National Health Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Chinese specialists, despite the fact that coronavirus is less deadly and contagious than SARS, its epidemic is much harder to localize, because it has a longer incubation period (from one to 14 days), during which the infection can be transmitted.

On December 31, 2019, Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 11 million people. On January 7, 2020, Chinese experts identified the infecting agent as coronavirus 2019-nCoV.

The new strain of coronavirus has already been identified in almost all Chinese provinces, as well as in other countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, France, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, the United States and Japan. The World Health Organization recognized the pneumonia outbreak in China as a national emergency but stopped short of declaring it an international one.