Chinese county back under control after re-emergence of coronavirus cases

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A county in central China has again been placed in receivership after an outbreak of coronavirus, highlighting the difficulty of keeping the epidemic in check against carriers who show no signs of disease.

Jia County, which has a population of approximately 640,000, issued a directive on Wednesday asking all residential complexes to be closed and those who visit and leave houses to produce identity cards and wear masks. and submit to temperature controls. Car traffic will also be limited. The move came after residents were taken aback by an incident in which a woman became infected after visiting a doctor who had the virus but showed no signs of illness. Researchers are finding that these stealth carriers can play an inordinate role in spreading the pathogen to others, as there is no easy way to say that they are infected.

Many countries, especially those with limited testing capacity, do not test unless

Many countries, especially those with limited testing capacity, do not test unless they have symptoms such as fever and cough.

China officially declared epidemic contained after number of new reported cases fell to zero on March 19, but there is growing concern about a second wave both domestically and among travelers arriving at its border. The American intelligence community also concluded that China had underreported the total number of cases and deaths it had suffered from the disease in a classified report to the United States government.

Asyptomatic doctors

Tests by a Jia County hospital on March 25 on medical workers treating Covid-19 patients revealed infections in three doctors who had no symptoms. The three doctors had dinner together at a restaurant on March 13, and one of them had already been to Wuhan and quarantined for two weeks upon his return.

All three were quarantined after testing positive. But their infections were not made public because China only started revealing its number of asymptomatic infections this week after national and international criticism of its lack of transparency.

Countries such as South Korea and Japan have always included asymptomatic patients with a positive number of confirmed cases, while China’s practice is to move these cases to the confirmed category only after they start to show symptoms. This means that Chinese people who do not develop symptoms but are carriers of the virus are never identified and counted as confirmed cases.

In Jia County, the three infections of the doctors were not revealed until a 59-year-old woman who developed a fever and a headache in a neighboring city was found to have contracted the virus on March 28 , after consulting one of the doctors. His visit took place before the quarantine of doctors began on March 25.

The National Health Commission of China said there were 1,367 asymptomatic cases under quarantine in the country as of March 31.



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