• Scientists still to determine the intermediate host of the disease, raising risk of recurrence
  • Study by Hong Kong and mainland China researchers finds that more than half of the patients did not have a fever when admitted to hospital
Health experts have highlighted challenges with the coronavirus epidemic , with the WHO warning of the risk of outbreaks coming back to life and researchers in mainland China and Hong Kong pointing out a major difficulty with diagnosis.
The alerts came on Friday as the World Health Organisation declared that the risk of global spread of the coronavirus epidemic had become “very high”  – though the UN health agency stopped short of calling it a pandemic.

In a joint study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from mainland China and Hong Kong reviewed the cases of 1,099 coronavirus patients from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces.

They found that more than half the patients did not have a fever when they went into hospital, making diagnosis more difficult. But 88.7 per cent of them did develop one after admission.

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