The Things You Need to Know about 2019-nCov

Since December 2019, the newly discovered coronavirus (2019-nCov) has caused an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China, and caused great public concern. At present, the Chinese government has implemented a number of effective measures, including isolating Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, establishing special isolation hospitals, and extending national holidays, with the aim of effectively curbing the spread of new coronaviruses. So, this raises the question, how does the new coronavirus spread?

On January 30, 2020, a study published on The Lancet compared the gene sequences of 2019-nCoV strains, from nine patients in Wuhan, with virus banks. The authors found that 2019-nCoV has similar gene series (79% similarity) and structure to the human SARS virus. And like SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV enters host cells through the cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2).

On January 31, 2020, a study entitled “Digestive system is a potential pathway for 2019-nCov infection: single cell-based bioinformatics analysis of the transcriptome” was published in bioRxiv. The study has shown that ACE2 is highly expressed not only in lung AT2 cells, esophageal epithelium, and lamellar epithelial cells but also in absorptive epithelial cells in the ileum and colon. These findings suggest that the digestive system and respiratory tract may be potential pathways for 2019-nCov infection.

On February 1, a study in Shenzhen found that 2019-nCoV nucleic acid positive was detected in the stools of certain patients, suggesting that live viruses may be present in the stools, but further virus isolation studies are needed.

Source of infection

The source of infection seen so far is mainly pneumonia patients infected with 2019-nCoV.

Vulnerable populations

Generally susceptible. The elderly and those with underlying diseases are more ilerl after infection. 2019-nCoV can infect children and infants.

Deaths caused by 2019-nCoV?

From the clinical situation, most patients have a good prognosis, children with mild symptoms and a few patients are critically ill. Deaths are more common in older people and people with chronic underlying diseases.

How to prevent it?

First, we need not worry. We should take the same measures as common influenza: wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and leave disinfectants at home for disinfection.


1. Hao Zhang. et al. The digestive system is a potential route of 2019-nCov infection: a bioinformatics analysis based on single-cell transcriptomes. bioRxiv. Posted online Jan. 31, 2020.

2. Roujian al. Genomic characterization and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. THE LANCET. Published: January 30.2020.