How Covid-19 Spreads? Top Chinese Epidemiologist Finds Pattern in Wuhan, Beijing and Dalian

As the Coronavirus continues to spread rapidly, Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 expert, Dr. Gregory Poland explains what would be the key to contain it

China reported 105 new Coronavirus cases on Wednesday, July 29, marking over 100 cases for the second consecutive day for the first time in months. While Xinjiang province is the latest to report a spike in cases, one of China's top epidemiologists found unique similarity the way Covid-19 started spreading in Wuhan – where the coronavirus first emerged in December 2019 -- to Beijing last month and Dalian recently.

The expert claimed that the COVID-19 outbreak in these regions did not appear as coincidence since the virus was found in places with the cold contaminated environment of seafood markets. During an interview with Chinese media, Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the Novel Coronavirus may have infected people through aerosols.

Wuhan Coronavirus
Coronavirus Twitter / Imran Iftikhar

As per the Chinese expert, the low and humid temperature helps the virus to survive. Zunyou said the virus can spread, if there is a contamination and in turn, it becomes impossible to inactivate the virus entirely.

Understanding the Spread Pattern

The epidemiologist Zunyou cited an experiment carried out in Beijing's Xinfadi market, which was the center of the new Coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese capital. The experiment involved the use of fluorescent powder to simulate the virus and it showed that the environment was contaminated. It led the experts to understand that Coronavirus could infect people through aerosols.

As suggested by him, to prevent the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 in a humid environment or places with similar conditions should get adequate ventilation which will help to minimize the risk of Coronavirus infection.

On Thursday, July 30, the National Health Commission recorded five domestic COVID-19 cases in Dalian and found that four of them were asymptomatic. Meanwhile in Beijing, authorities logged one confirmed case relating to Dalian, where the authorities had already confirmed that most of the local patients are the employees from the Dalian Kaiyang Seafood Company or their close contacts.

Seafood market Needpix

However, as per Zunyou, the Dalian's epidemic has no specific connection with the outbreak in Beijing but there is a possibility that the emergence of new infection cases in the Dalian region was caused by contaminated imported seafood.

How to Curb the Spread of the Virus?

Along with China, there are several countries that are seeing new Coronavirus cases after they succeeded to curb the virus earlier. The virus is also dominating countries like the U.S., Brazil, India, and Russia. Despite strict lockdown measures by the respective governments, the COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly.

Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic COVID-19 expert explained what would be the key to slow the spread of the novel Coronavirus. As per the expert, "Part of what we're seeing in this resurgence is a lack of mask-wearing and physical distancing. We have watched what happens when we ignore or don't implement those kinds of precautions."

We have also watched countries, in real-time, that have realized they've got a major problem and mandated public mask-wearing and very quickly have seen those cases be suppressed down to manageable levels where we could go back to work, we could go back to school, we could do the things that we want to do.

As per Dr. Poland, mask-wearing, physical distancing, and hand washing or sanitizing create a "web of interventions" highly effective in stopping the spread of the SARS-CoV-2. "I think if we do the right things here, despite the resurgence, we can get this dampened back down and push this off until we have these just-on-the-brink vaccines ready to go," he noted.

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