China’s New COVID-19 Outbreak Shows That the Virus Might be Evolving

Chinese doctors are witnessing the Coronavirus manifest differently among new patients emerged in the northeast region against the original breakout in Wuhan in late December last year.

Doctors fear that the virus might be changing in different ways that could potentially impede the efforts being made to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Qiu Haibo, one of China’s top critical care doctors, new COVID-19 patients emerging in the northern provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin carry the Coronavirus infection for a longer period and take longer to test negative than usual.

Furthermore, patients in this new cluster are taking longer than 2 weeks to develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection after getting exposed to the pathogen. This aberration in the usual incubation period of Coronavirus has proven to be a challenge for authorities to catch cases before they spread the virus unwittingly.

In the last 2 weeks, 46 new cases have been reported across three cities — Jilin city, Shulan, and Shengyang — of Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces. All of these new cases are clusters of family infections resulting from the longer incubation period.

Qiu Haibo further added that COVID-19 infection has damaged the lungs of almost all of the patients in the newly-emerged northeast cluster. Whereas, patients in Wuhan had suffered multi-organ damage across the lungs, kidneys, gut, and heart.

Following the resurgence of Coronavirus, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces have re-imposed lockdown measures over a region of 100 million people.

Qiu Haibo has urged citizens to take precautionary measures after the emergence of fresh cases in the northeast region.

People should not assume the peak has passed or let down their guard. The epidemic may last for a long time.