The number of people infected with the new coronavirus doubles every other day. It is faster than SARS, states Björn Olsen, professor of infectious diseases. The outbreak was inevitable, he believes.
There are now enough cases of infection for experts to be able to assess how quickly the virus spreads. The rate is higher than in the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003, when 8,000 became infected and more than 800 people died. To date, old and multi-sick people have died from the coronavirus. Now even two doctors have died in China.
No deaths have yet been reported outside China, where 81 people have died. About 2,700 are infected globally, most in China.
– This is the third outbreak of a coronavirus in 18 years. It is sad but inevitable as long as you allow animal markets, says infection expert Björn Olsen. He expects a large increase in the number of infected, but he also has confidence in a collectivist country like China to deal with the outbreak.
Drugs on the way
Vaccine against the virus is far in the future. However, antiviral drugs may be easier to obtain, for the treatment of infected people. Increased immunity can balance the virus’ progress, but trying to protect yourself with common types of mouth protection has no effect, Björn Olsen believes. He also says that we can expect cases in Sweden as well, but healthcare still has the resources to handle the situation.
– The important thing is that people with symptoms do not fall into a health center or emergency room but call 1177. There they will be directed to infection clinics and isolated, says Björn Olsen to SVT News. He believes that the virus is troublesome, but no manslaughter on a par with, for example, the Spanish flu.
38,000 people died of Spanish disease in Sweden during the years 1918-1920.
Swedish Public Broadcasting February 2, 2020