Two papers published Friday in the journal the Lancet offer some of the first rigorous analyses of patients who contracted a novel coronavirus that has broken out in China and spread to other countries. Among their discoveries: the virus does not only affect people with other, underlying health conditions, and people who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus.
In one study, researchers analyzed data from the first 41 patients who were admitted to hospitals with confirmed cases of the infection in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have originated last month. Two-thirds had been to a large seafood market that also sold wild animals for meat and is thought to be where the virus jumped from an animal source to people. The median age of the patients was 49.