China reported an outbreak of pneumonia in the country at the end of last year. Later, the spread of coronavirus was reported in the whole country, and eventually, all countries got affected by it. The pandemic erupted from Wuhan, in China. The way how coronavirus spread around the world helps in determining the deaths caused by the pandemic.
The University of Texas conducted a study to determine the spread of coronavirus in the early stages. This study compared the coronavirus infection to the cases of influenza in the winter.
The researchers published this study recently in the Lancet journal.
According to the researchers, Seattle and Wuhan had several coronavirus cases that went undiagnosed. These infections occurred before these regions implemented the lockdown.
This recent study is based on two previously conducted studies. One of them was conducted in Wuhan and the other one in Seattle. Seattle was one of the first regions to get hit by the pandemic. The researchers tested the swabs from influenza patients. These patients had a flu-like infection during the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
The study led in Wuhan showed 4 people with coronavirus who got the flu in the early days of the pandemic. The study in Seattle showed that 26 individuals were coronavirus positive before March. This shows that the spread of coronavirus occured before the first cases reported.
The individuals in these studies tested influenza positive as well. The data showed that for every 3 influenza cases, 2 of them were coronavirus infection in Wuhan. However, Seattle had one Covid-19 patient out of 18 influenza cases.
The research team utilized this data to calculate the spread of coronavirus infection. The researchers estimated the coronavirus infections during the early phase of the pandemic. However, these cases only included symptomatic coronavirus infections.
Prof. Lauren Ancel Meyers is the senior author of this recent study. She said that they can trace the history of the pandemic through various investigations. This can help them understand the way Covid-19 spread around the world.
The analysis will help the researchers figure out how the coronavirus infection spread globally in such a short time. It will also enable them to understand the future of pandemic over the next months.
The lockdown started in Wuhan from January 23, 2020. The city reported 422 coronavirus cases until then. However, the data shows that Wuhan had at least 1300 coronavirus cases before the city went under lockdown.
The experts suggest that the coronavirus pandemic started in October of last year. The infection spread through one person from Wuhan. Also, the infection in Seattle spread from late December to early January.
The findings of this study show that the virus spread before the officials reported the coronavirus cases. The coronavirus lingered in these cities far before the first reports of the cases came forward.
This recent study can also only estimate the cases that showed coronavirus symptoms. It does not include the people who do not show any symptoms of infection. Thus, the actual cases are probably even higher than this estimated number.
The experts suggest that the early coronavirus cases were usually reported as the normal flu-like condition. This helped in the spread of coronavirus around the world while the virus went unnoticed by the authorities.