Coronavirus hotspots in Europe and Asia will still spread the disease when spring starts in mid-March. The virus has already infected more than 82,000 people and killed at least 2,804 since December last year.

Dr Paweł Grzesiowski from the Medical Centre of Postgraduate Education in Warsaw, Poland, believes the epidemic will not disappear anytime soon.

He said: “We still do not know the virus’ properties in a warm climate but considering its origin, that is caves and bats, in a dry and warm climate it will likely spread worse.

“Warming in spring could naturally influence lower rates of infections, however, we should remember the Swine Flu virus attacked in May and it was active throughout the summer in the first year it was active.

“Considering the current epidemiological situation, the few active hotspots, then I think the virus will stay with us for many more months.”

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On Thursday, February 27, two new coronavirus infections were confirmed in England, bringing the total to 15 cases in the UK.

The virus was contracted by two people on holiday in Tenerife and Italy.

Italy is now suffering the third largest outbreak of the coronavirus outside of mainland China and the biggest outbreak in Europe.

At least 453 people have contracted the pathogen in Italy and 11 people have been confirmed dead.

The second worst outbreak outside of China has fallen on South Korea where nearly 1,600 people were confirmed ill on Thursday.

At least 13 people have died in South Korea and 22 have recovered from the infection.

Dr Grzesiowski said: “So far we have limited data from China but dominating among the deceased is the age group of 60 to 70, as well as chronic illnesses of the lungs and heart.

“The virus is linked to the ACE-2 receptor and is likely stronger in adults than it is in children and ill people.”

The expert added: “The SARS-CoV-2 virus is 10 to 15 times more virulent at this stage than flu but less so than SARS or MERS.

“The main source of emotions is that it is new, so humanity does not know to and everything that is new raises fear.

“Mass illness can be a serious problem for all aspects of life and healthcare.

“I do remember, however, the swine flu, which also initially aroused great emotions and then became more common.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 typically starts to show weak symptoms such as fever and cough before deteriorating into deadly pneumonia.

The WHO said: “The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.

“Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.”



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