ATLANTA — Lots of questions remain about the Coronavirus and experts themselves, are rushing to answer them as quickly as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the first U.S. case of a coronavirus originating from China has been reported. The infected individual is a man in his 30's from Washington State, officials in Washington said.
Dr. Adrian Hyzler is the Chief Medical Officer for Healix International, a global company providing medical information to organizations that have clients traveling internationally.
Talking to 11Alive from the U.K., Hyzler broke down several known and unknown facts surrounding the virus.
THINGS EXPERTS KNOW
1. This is the seventh type of coronavirus infecting humans. There’s a range in how serious coronaviruses are.
2. The virus seemed to come from one of the live seafood markets in Wuhan. At first it, the virus was contained to people with symptoms and identified as coronavirus. Hyzler said it seemed to be contained until a few weeks later, when the spread was identified internationally.
3. A huge event is approaching that could make the spread worse. Within the next week is the Lunar New year, one of the largest human migratory episodes in the world. Millions will travel to and from China during that time. “There's the potential to transfer this in huge huge numbers," said Hyzler.
4. Highly developed countries will be able to test for coronavirus first because the testing is complex and expensive. It will be a while before underdeveloped countries will not be able to test. Hyzler explained, “There will be countries where its not identified and then suddenly you’ll get a large number of cases that suddenly explode on the scene.”
5. Elderly, young children, people with other diseases and pregnant women are at a higher risk of complications and infections.
THINGS EXPERTS STILL DON'T KNOW
1. What animal started the transmission of the virus.
2. It’s unclear how quickly the virus spreads.
3. It's not clear how long the virus stays active on surfaces or in the air.
4. Experts still don’t know the incubation period - or the time period between becoming infected and developing symptoms. "Before you develop symptoms, you are contagious. We don’t know what that time period is before you get symptoms, that you’re contagious," said Hyzler.
Currently, there's no vaccine for the virus and it could take years for one to be developed. Hyzler said the main thing counties will focus on, is trying to manage the spread of the virus.