The outbreak of coronary pneumonia caused by 2019-nCov virus in Wuhan is causing world public confusion. At the present time, more than 2700 people in China have been confirmed to have been infected with the virus, with 80 deaths.
The emergence of a pandemic with the SARS virus that killed 800 people in 2002 occurred at a very bad time: the Lunar New Year – when hundreds of millions of Chinese people began to move home. The government therefore ordered the blockade of Wuhan – the place of the outbreak – with 12 neighboring cities.
It can be said that the epidemic surprised many people, but Eric Toner – a scientist from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center (USA) does not think so. He was not shocked at all because less than three months ago, Toner created a simulation scenario of a global disease, involving a coronavirus.
“A long time ago, I thought that if a new disease were to occur, it must have been from a corona virus,” – Toner sharing.
The disease in Wuhan is not currently considered a global emergency, but currently 41 people have been infected outside of mainland China – including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore. , Saudi Arabia, USA, Australia, France …
“We don’t know what the virus is likely to spread this time. What is known is that it spreads from person to person, but to what extent it is unknown.” – Toner shared with Business Insider on January 24. “The initial impression is that it appears to be lighter than SARS, so it can be reassuring. However, it may be more easily spread than SARS.”
Toner’s claim is also completely grounded, when experts recently determined that the new nCov virus can spread as soon as the patient has not revealed symptoms – something that does not happen with SARS.
Scenario: virus kills 65 million people in 18 months
Toner’s scenario simulates a virus called CAPS. This is a project of the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Foundataion, see what happens if the disease originates from a pig farm in Brazil.
CAPS virus in Toners model will be resistant to all modern vaccines. It is stronger than SARS, and easily spread like influenza virus. The disease started on a small scale: farmers in Brazil began to show flu-like symptoms or pneumonia. From here, the virus spread to the community, to places adjacent to South America.
Flights canceled mass, travel 45% off. People are starting to panic because of unreliable rumors from social networks. After 6 months, the virus will spread globally, and after 18 months, 65 million people will die from it. Compare the epidemic to the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918, when 50 million people died.
The epidemic will immediately cause a global financial crisis: the stock market drops 20% – 40%, GDP drops 11%. The virus itself in Wuhan will have the same financial effect, when the number of infections reaches the threshold of 1,000 (now 2700). As on January 21, the stock market in Hong Kong (China) fell 2.8% due to reduced traffic, tourism and related industries.
In the scenario, scientists can not produce timely vaccines to prevent the disease. This hypothesis is based on facts with SARS and MERS outbreaks – both did not have a vaccine at the time of the outbreak.
But of course, this does not mean that Wuhan virus is the same. At the present time, experts are rushing to produce, manufacture vaccines to contain the epidemic, and are gradually giving good results.
“If we can create a new vaccine within months instead of every year, the story will be different,” – Toner sharing. “Still, we have to think about how to produce on a global scale, as well as how to distribute it effectively to everyone.”