The first affected are the lungs, all 99 patients were hospitalized with pneumonia, their lungs were inflamed, and the small pulmonary alveoli where oxygen moves to the blood were filled with water.
Doctors also found other symptoms. Thus, 82 patients had a fever, 81 of the patients coughed,
31 of the patients had difficulty breathing, 11 patients had muscle pain, 9 of the patients were confused, 8 had headaches, and 5 of the patients had neck pain.
The first two patients who died seemed quite healthy, even though they had been smokers for many years, a defect that would have weakened their lungs. The first, a 61-year-old man, had acute pneumonia when he arrived at the hospital.
The man had acute breathing difficulties, which meant his lungs couldn’t pump enough oxygen to his organs to keep him alive. Even though he was put on mechanical ventilation devices, his lungs gave way and his heart stopped. The man died 11 days after his admission.
The second patient, a 69-year-old man, also had acute breathing difficulties. An artificial lung was attached to him, but it was not enough. He died of pneumonia and septic shock when his blood pressure dropped dramatically.
As of January 25, of the 99 patients, 57 were still hospitalized, 31 were discharged, and 11 died. This does not mean that the mortality rate of this disease is 11% since patients still admitted could die and many others have mild symptoms, and they do not get hospitalized.
It is believed that live animals sold at the fish and seafood market in Huanan would be the source of infection with the new coronavirus. Of the 99 patients, 49 had direct contact with the market. Thus, 47 of them worked there, as managers or salesmen, and two were buyers.
Most of the 99 patients were middle-aged men, between 56 and 67 years old. However, the latest data indicate a more gender spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China said that on average, 1.2 of those infected were men, out of every 1.0 women.
There are two reasons for this difference: Doctors say that men are either more prone to illness and need hospital treatment or, for social and cultural reasons, have been more exposed to the virus when it broke out.
Dr. Li Zhang said: “The low predisposition of women to viral infections can be attributed to protection on the X chromosome and sex hormones, which play an important role in immunity.”
Most of the 99 patients had other diseases that made them more vulnerable to the virus, being “a result of a weakened immune system in those patients”:
40 of the patients had a weak heart or blood vessels affected due to cardiological problems, heart failure, and heart attack. Another 12 patients had diabetes.
The World Health Organization announced on Thursday that the virus represents a global emergency. The WHO defines as an “emergency of public health of international interest” an “extraordinary event” that is “serious, unusual and unexpected”.
The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in China has reached 304 deaths, after authorities in the Hubei province, the outbreak of the epidemic announced 45 new deaths on Sunday. On Sunday, however, the first death outside the territory of China in the Philippines was recorded, so that the total balance amounts to 305 dead.
In total, the number of patients in China has reached 14,380 since the outbreak of the epidemic.