A U.S. researcher found that, as early as the end of December 2019, hospitals in Wuhan had clear evidence of person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Associate Professor Mai (Mike) He, MD, PhD, Pathology & Immunology Section Head of the School of Medicine, Washington University, did the research based on patient cases in Wuhan in December 2019 and January 2020.
On December 27, 2019, Xinhua Hospital in Wuhan received a family case where both parents were infected. They tested the son on December 28 and found he had also been infected.
On December 29, the Wuhan Central Hospital received an infected mother and son, which was another example of family person-to-person transmission.
On January 1, 2020, the Wuhan Central Hospital received an infected doctor working at the clinic near the South China Seafood Market. It was believed that this doctor had been infected by his patients.
On December 27, Vision Medicals, a gene research and testing company based in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, created the near-complete genome for the coronavirus . They called Wuhan hospitals and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on December 27 and 28 to report their findings. On December 29 and 30, due to the severity of the virus, the lab manager also went to Wuhan to provide a face-to-face report to the Wuhan hospitals and the CDC .
On December 30, the gene test of the virus at the CapitalBio Medical Lab in Beijing showed it was similar to SARS, which further confirmed the person-to-person transmission.
The National CDC sent an emergency group to Wuhan on December 31. They closed the seafood market on January 1, but, on their January 3 report, they claimed there had been no person-to-person transmission and no medical staff had been infected.
The National Health Commission also issued a notice on January 3, prohibiting anyone from releasing information to the outside and also prohibiting institutes from conducting virus tests without the Health Commission’s authorization.
It was not until January 20 that the National Health Commission announced person-to-person transmission. On January 23, the day that Wuhan announced a lock-down, the Chinese authorities reported 444 infection cases. According to Dr. He’s model, 240,000 people in Wuhan had been infected by then, with 30,000 infection cases on January 23.
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