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WHO Beta2c Coronavirus Is A Cold Virus Tweets
Recombinomics Commentary 19:45
March 25, 2013

Gregory Härtl‏@HaertlG

.@cnnhealth Dear CNN-please explain why this #coronavirus is SARS-like? Is it not more like the common cold virus? Or another #coronavirus?
@cnnbrk new #coroanvirus is not SARS-like. Please change this description. Call it a common cold-like virus

The above recent tweets by Gregory Hartl, Head of Media for WHO, are curious.  When the nCo was first reported by WHO in 2012, Hartl noted that the nCoV was different than SARS-CoV because of the renal failure associated with the initial nCoV cases.  However, renal failure was also associated with severe and fatal SARS-CoV cases suggesting that the two coronaviruses produced similar diseases, but the initial nCoV represented a small subset of cases.  This interpretation has been validated by the milder cases reported for the ICU cluster in Jordan, as well as each subsequent nCoV cluster.  There have now been four confirmed clusters and all have at least one mild case which is confirmed or probable.

Moreover, the ICU cluster in Jordan was virtually identical to SARS-CoV clusters involving health care workers.  Last April, local media described the outbreak as SARS-like, and the involvement of 2 doctors and 7 nurses, as well as family contacts, matched 2003 superspreader events linked to SARS-CoV.

Most of the SARS-CoV cases were between mid-March and mid-May of 2013, which matched the time frame for the Jordan outbreak in April, 2012.  SARS-CoV dramatically spread after a physician, who had been treating SARS-CoV cases in Guangdong Province, came to Hong Kong and infected at least a dozen guests at the Metropole Hotel on February 21, 2003.  A least four of those infected were superspreaders who then spread the virus in Hong Kong, Singapore, Hanoi, and Toronto.

Thus, the similarities between SARS-CoV and nCoV are striking in clinical presentation and spread.  Detection in samples from the upper respiratory tract is problematic because the virus grows well in the lower respiratory tract.  Thus, infected patients will frequently generate a false negative if testing is limited to samples from the upper respiratory tract and the viral load is low, as seen in milder cases.

However, the recent emphasis by WHO on calling the nCoV a cold virus raises concerns that they are well aware of mild cases in Saudi Arabia, including those cited for Jeddah.

The WHO propaganda campaign, and comments that the spread is “seemingly sporadic”, raises concerns that the number of confirmed nCoV cases will rise dramatically in the near term.

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