More than 82,000 people have been hit by the coronavirus, although 33,000 people have recovered. However, the full recovery rate could be thrown into jeopardy as one woman in Japan has re-caught the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, sparking fears the virus could remain dormant in the system.
A tour bus operator who is in her 40s in Osaka has tested positive for the coronavirus strain for the second time, with 189 confirmed cases in Japan and at least three dead.
The woman was first diagnosed with coronavirus in late January and was discharged from hospital on February 1.
However, she has been reinfected leading to fears many of those who have recovered could be struck down once again.
Philip Tierno Jr, professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University, said: “Once you have the infection, it could remain dormant and with minimal symptoms.
“And then you can get an exacerbation if it finds its way into the lungs.”
The past few weeks have seen a boom in recovery rates, with more than 33,000 people being given the all-clear after battling the disease.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged people to stay on alert.
WHO’s Dr David Nabarro told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “What the World Health Organisation is encouraging is a mindset to get ready for the arrival of this illness and to be prepared for the steps that have to be taken to do it effectively and together.
“And for people everywhere to be part of the response.
“It won’t be easy, there will be times when it feels very uncomfortable for people and sometimes really interrupting their daily lives but we’ve all got to work together in this.
“It’s not a political issue, it’s not even an issue between different countries. It’s really an issue for the whole world.”
However, the virus is not nearly as deadly as the common flu, which experts have warned should still take priority in the medical battle.
Jeremy Clarkson: Grand Tour host talks ‘self-isolating’ with beach pic
Coronavirus: Should we be stockpiling food and medicine?
F1 make Australian Grand Prix decision due to coronavirus virus
Influenza can lead to thousands of deaths a year, with the University of Oxford stating that in 2008 to 2009, there were 13,000 deaths in the UK alone related to the flu.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that an average of up to 500,000 people die annually across the globe due to the flu.
Since October alone, 20,000 people died from flu complications in the US, which has led to one expert describing the coronavirus as a “blip”.
William Schaffner, a vaccine expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, told Kaiser Health News: “When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there’s just no comparison.
“Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial.”
Source: Read Full Article