Study, coronavirus, incubation period

New study reveals shorter coronavirus incubation period

Story by AFP

The period between exposure to the new coronavirus that originated in China and symptoms is 5.2 days on average, but varies greatly among patients, according to one of the largest studies yet published on the deadly epidemic.

While admitting that the estimate is “imprecise,” the Chinese team behind a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on Wednesday said their findings support a 14-day medical observation period for people exposed to the pathogen.

The World Health Organization said in an update Monday that the incubation period ranged from between two and 10 days before symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath and acute respiratory distress emerged.

READ MORE: Pakistan’s First Coronavirus Case Found

The incubation period estimate in the new study was based on 10 patients.

The researchers also studied the virus’s first 425 patients in order to establish two other fundamental characteristics of the outbreak.

Since it first emerged in Wuhan in December, the number of cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus doubled every 7.4 days, the researchers wrote.

They also estimated that each infected person then infected an average of 2.2 other people, a figure known as the basic reproductive number, or R0 (pronounced “R-naught”).

The figure doesn’t predict how big an epidemic will eventually be, but is a useful measure nonetheless. In this case, it is relatively low: close to the seasonal flu (around 1.3), much less than the measles (12 or higher) and comparable to the SARS-epidemic of 2002-2003 (3).

The team also found that human-to-human transmission had been occurring among close contacts since the middle of December 2019.

READ ALSO: Health Experts Blame ‘Bat Soup’ For Deadly Coronavirus Outbreak In China

The Chinese findings echo research by a team in the Netherlands that found an incubation period of 5.8 days, with large variations.

And a 27-year-old Vietnamese man who was infected by his father who had traveled to Wuhan showed symptoms in around three days, according to a letter published in NEJM.

In the major Chinese study, half of the 425 cases were patients over the age of 60, and none were under 15 years old.

Court summons Humayun Saeed over ‘sexist dialogues’ in ‘Meray Paas Tum Ho’

Meray Paas Tum Ho, Humayun Saeed, Sindh High Court, sexist dialogues,

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Jan 29 summoned actor Humayun Saeed to appear in person and explain why he delivered offensive and sexist dialogues in Meray Paas Tum Ho, a TV show, written by Khalil Ur Rehman.

A two member bench comprising Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed and Justice Muhammad Ali Azhar was hearing the petition against the television serial wherein it instructed the federal government, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), and other respondents to submit their replies by February 13.

In her petition, citizen Sana Saleem said that the script contained derogatory language when talking about women for which the writer, actor and producer should apologise.

Besides language, the petitioner also objected over “a divorced couple living together” and “a six-year-old playing matchmaker between his father and a school teacher”.

Her lawyer, Munir Gulal, argued that a line from show had become quite popular and had hurt the reputation and sentiments of women all over the country. During the hearing, the lawyer also added that the drama had portrayed Karachi’s image in a negative manner.

The court asked the lawyer why the petition had mentioned 21 episodes when the show had 24. Gulal explained that the show’s finale had been screen in cinemas and thus more video evidence could be presented if need be.

Lawyers representing a private TV channel and PEMRA were also present in the court. The court asked the regulation authority’s lawyer if there was a way to monitor the dramas through in-house censors to which he responded that the regulating body had a separate forum where dramas are monitored.

“According to our policy, dramas shouldn’t contain language or visuals that are beyond ethics,” he explained.

Addressing the petitioner’s lawyer, the court said that he should have moved forums concerned first.

Justice Azhar asked why the TV show’s lead, actor Humayun Saeed, did not appear before the court. The hearing was adjourned till February 13 after his lawyer ensured that the actor would appear before the court in the neat hearing.

This is the second time someone has raised their voice against the drama that has been widely criticised for promoting moral decay in society through casual sexism and promotion of patriarchal ideas.

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