new study has revealed that the incubation period for the Wuhan coronavirus can be much longer than previously thought.
The study, produced by dozens of Chinese researchers led by Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese epidemiologist who discovered the SARS coronavirus in 2003, gathered data from more than 1,000 novel coronavirus patients across the country.
It found that the longest incubation period for the virus was 24 days.
This raises a serious problem as previously the world has been operating under the assumption that the virus’s maximum incubation period was 14 days.
A number of countries around the world have denied entry to travelers who have been to China in the past two weeks and those arriving in Shanghai, for instance, from other parts of the country are being told to self-quarantine for 14 days.
It’s unclear if this finding will change how the outbreak is dealt with.
One member of the research team, Guan Weijie, explained that a 24-day incubation period is only in very rare cases and that it is not necessary to prolong the isolation period for those suspected to be infected with the virus.
However, Weibo users are certainly not taking this news in stride.
“24 days! Guangzhou just went back to work. Do you have any idea how many people have arrived in the past few days,” reads one concerned comment.
“The incubation period can be 24 days. After a few rounds of isolation, it will be the Year of the Ox,” reads another.
In addition, the study also pointed out issues with another one of the outbreak’s chief protocols: temperature checks.
Researchers discovered that fevers occurred in just 43.8 percent of patients prior to hospitalization. Those infected with the virus can transmit it to others before symptoms even start to show.