A new outbreak originating in northwest China, specifically in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, has put the country’s authorities and scientific community on alert.
They fear that a mutation of the coronavirus has occurred, which could hamper the work of developing a vaccine.
Health authorities have detected anomalies in the new cases – 46 so far.
So, these patients have a longer incubation period – up to two weeks, which increases the chances that they will pass it on to others while they are asymptomatic – and carry the virus for a longer time.
Another difference that Chinese doctors have detected in these new cases of coronavirus are the symptoms.
Patients in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, were suffering from lung lesions and, in addition, the virus was attacking the heart, kidneys or intestines.
However, this new outbreak mainly affects the lungs, without severely damaging other parts of the body.
Although there is no talk of a confirmed mutation of the virus, differences in the behaviour of the pathogen could mean that it has occurred, which has led scientists to raise the alarm about what is happening and study each case to determine what is happening.