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Coronavirus pneumonia might exist for long time, says expert

(Chinadaily.com.cn)    17:07, February 20, 2020

The pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus might exist for a long time, like the flu, said Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

"The new virus is different from SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), the latter of which is highly transmissive and pathogenic. It quickly kills the host, and the virus itself cannot easily survive," he said during an interview with China Central Television on Wednesday night.

However, the pneumonia is very likely to coexist with humans like the flu, he said, adding that preparations in terms of clinical diagnosis and treatment should be made accordingly, as well as prevention measures in daily life.

Though more treatments and medicine have been adopted to cure the disease, it's still in early exploratory phases, according to Wang.

"It's a brand-new disease, the pathology of which is not yet clear. The previous treatment was based on the past experiences," he said, adding that the therapies are now more effective and standardized with a deeper understanding.

The current knowledge about the disease is still limited, and the exploration of new drugs and new therapies are still in the preliminary stage as well, he added.

Wang also noted that the spread of the new virus is slowing down, but the predication of a turning point for the epidemic has to take the regulation of the disease and the control and prevention measures into consideration.

"The inflection point is a dependent variable. It is important that we control its independent variables," he said.

Wang also said that it's important to admit patients into hospitals as soon as possible since a late admission of a patient could lead to more infections.

Thanks to the increase of hospital beds, the patient admission rate has gradually been improved. But it's crucial to put patients under treatment in a timely manner to curb the spread of the new virus, he added. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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