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CoVID-19 Global Tracking

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Background

Background: Health authorities in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China, reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown cause on 31 December 2019. An investigation was launched in early January 2020. During a very short period of time of a few months CoVID-19 has become pandemic with presence in virtually all countries/regions. The CoVID-19 pandemic is still in the early stage. It is impossible to predict its overall impact on global health.

CoVID-19 is a new disease with no pre-existing population immunity and there is no vaccine available. Potential beneficial medical treatments have as yet not been scientifically defined. Some experts are suggesting that CoVID-19 is just another seasonal influenza infection, while others are more conservative and prefer to wait until more is known.

There have been several recent reports from different countries showing antigenic drift of CoVID-19 . It is too early to determine the impact of this antigenic drift. However, we should expect that CoVID-19 like normal influenza viruses will - over time - results in viruses that are antigenically different.

WHO estimates that the annual global influenza-associated respiratory mortality estimate is 260,000. Other organizations have estimated higher figures e.g. an average annual rate of 390,000 deaths.

It is more than likely that the CoVID-19 pandemic will result in significant higher number of deaths than the deaths observed during a normal influenza season.