The novel coronavirus is manifesting differently among patients in a new cluster of cases in northeast China. Chinese doctors have observed that the coronavirus which has been contacted by patients in northeast China recently are behaving differently from the original outbreak in Wuhan last year. This is an indication that the coronavirus is changing its nature as its spread, thus raising an alarm once again.

China, where coronavirus cases had subsided, has once again started reporting fresh cases of Covid-19 infections in new clusters in the northeastern border provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang lately, raising concerns of a second wave. Scientists across the world still do not fully understand the virus and its behavioral pattern, which is also delaying progress in finding a cure for the deadly infection.

Symptom Development Taking Longer

Coronavirus
Patients in Wuhan mostly suffered multi-organ damage that included the heart, kidney and gut Xinhua/IANS

Chinese experts say that the coronavirus is behaving differently in the new coronavirus patients in northeast China from the ones detected in Wuhan, indicating that the virus is changing as it spreads. According to Reuters, Qiu Haibo, an expert in critical care medicine, who is also part of a National Health Commission expert group, said that incubation period of the virus in the new set of patients was longer than that of the patients in Wuhan.

This suggests that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out. Doctors have noticed that patients in the northeast part of China seem to have damage mostly in their lungs, while the ones in Wuhan suffered multi-organ damage that included the heart, kidney and gut.

Northeast China Again Under Lockdown

Coronavirus
Chinese experts say that incubation period of the virus in the new set of patients was longer than that of the patients in Wuhan Wikimedia Commons

China is fearing a new wave of coronavirus in the country and is taking necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus ahead of its annual political gathering in Beijing scheduled to take place this week. The government in a bid to stem the spread of the virus has ordered a return of lockdown measures, halting train services, closing schools and sealing off residential complexes just when people were thinking that the worst is over.

Haibo also said that patients in northeast China were also carrying the virus for a longer period than the ones in Wuhan and also took more time to recover. The situation seems to be more alarming because the new cases rarely exhibited fever and other symptoms.

That said, Chinese officials believe that virus in new cluster was probably from Russia. Both Jilin and Heilongjiang share border with Russia. Among the northeast cluster, only 10 per cent have turned critical and only 26 are hospitalized.