Saturday, February 15, 2020
Scientists fear coronavirus spread in countries least able to contain it.
Scientists fear coronavirus spread in countries least able to contain it.Concerns are rising about the virus’s potential to circulate undetected in Africa and Asia.Infections of the new coronavirus have now been detected in 24 countries outside China. But researchers warn that cases might be going undetected in some nations that are considered at high risk of an outbreak but are reporting fewer cases than expected, or none at all. The possibility of unreported cases is particularly concerning in countries with weaker health-care systems, such as those in southeast Asia and Africa, which could quickly be overwhelmed by a local outbreak, experts say. Although no cases have yet been reported in Africa, some countries there, such as Nigeria, are at particular risk because of their strong business ties to China. Researchers have been using flight data to create models of the virus’s possible spread around the world. On 11 February, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses officially named the virus SARS-CoV-2, highlighting its similarity to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).