Cambridge University’s Dr Chris Smith told Express.co.uk that the virus could become “another human circulating coronavirus” which would result in its continuous circulation “year on year”. However, Dr Smith also stated that the coronavirus could be stamped out in “sixth months” if effected measures are taken to deal with the “initial growth period” of the virus.
Dr Smith said last week: “If you take what has happened in China they didn’t know what they were dealing with until much more recently.
“It had escaped and got much further before they were able to bear down onto it.
“Now other countries have the warning provided by China and the insight of studying the genetics of the virus and the cases that have succumb to it so far.
“So, therefore, other countries are going to be able to deal with it in a different way.
“So, therefore, we can’t just compare what has happened in China to other countries.”
He continued: “On the other hand, we have learned that it does seem to be pretty infectious and we do understand that it has certainly spread beyond China.
“So there could be little outbreaks beginning to seep into populations in many countries I suspect.
“For instance, the Chinese individual that died on holiday while in France were going about their business in France for a month before they died.
“How many people have they potentially infected in that time?
“We’re in that initial growth period and SARS took a good few months to stamp that out and this is bigger.
“We could be looking at sixth months it could be a year.”
Dr Smith added: “If this virus turns into another human circulating coronavirus.
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“Because there are four natural human coronaviruses that circulate around the world, they infect us and generally come around the winter time causing cold-like symptoms in humans.
“It could become another one of those and if it does there will no end to this because it will just continue to circulate year on year on year.
“Probably it will do so in a relatively trivial way.”
Coronavirus maps have tracked the deadly COVID-19 across more than 20 countries on its path from China, with nearly 80,000 cases worldwide as of February 24.
Officials have confirmed a total of 79,524 COVID-19 cases, 2,626 deaths and 25,157 recoveries.
They found the most cases – a total of 77,150 – in mainland China.
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