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London Review of Books: The word from Wuhan

The new coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – has already infected more people than SARS. Besides the lungs and respiratory tract it can also affect the oesophagus, heart, kidneys, ileum and bladder. A definite diagnosis isn’t always easy: blood tests aren’t reliable and the standard nucleic acid test, which uses swabs from the throat or nose, produces a high rate of false negatives – especially in the middle of a public health emergency, when large numbers of people are being tested in a short space of time under conditions that are hard to monitor. The patient may have a cough or a fever, or be short of breath – but there are also many cases of asymptomatic infection, making an outbreak significantly harder to contain.
Reposted byp125 p125
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