A case of coronavirus infection acquired outside of Asia has been detected in which the contagion appears to have occurred during the incubation period in patient zero .
The fact that asymptomatic people are potential sources of infection of this coronavirus of Chinese origin may justify a reassessment of the transmission dynamics of the current outbreak.
On January 24, 2020, a 33-year-old German businessman presented with a sore throat, chills and myalgia. The next day, he had a 39.1 ° C fever, along with a productive cough. The next day, in the afternoon, the patient began to feel better and went back to work .
Two nasopharyngeal swabs and one sputum sample were obtained that were positive for 2019-nCoV in the quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay.
The patient had been infected by a Chinese colleague who had recently traveled from Shanghai to participate in one of the training courses offered by the Bavarian-based company. The woman began to feel bad on her return trip to China on the 23rd, which is why she went to the doctor and tested positive.
That is, we are not only facing the first case of a person infected without having gone to China, but of contagion by someone asymptomatic, in the incubation period. The infected German patient, for his part, had a brief and nonspecific period of illness .
In spite of everything, there is no need to be particularly alarmed: mild symptoms, transmission in the incubation period and, after improvement, short duration … like most respiratory viral infections .
The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is transmitted mainly through particles in the air, but physical contact is also another route of spread, according to the Chinese health authorities.
Meanwhile, another virus has infected 15 million and killed 8,200 Americans this season alone : the flu .