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Coronavirus May Be ‘Disease X’ Health Experts Warned About

  • Picture is emerging of an unpredictable, enigmatic pathogen
  • SARS-like lung inflammation seen in severe Covid-19 cases
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Could Coronavirus Be 'Disease X'?
Updated on

The World Health Organization cautioned years ago that a mysterious “disease X” could spark an international contagion. The new coronavirus illness, with its ability to quickly morph from mild to deadly, is emerging as a contender.

From recent reports about the stealthy ways the so-called Covid-19 virus spreads and maims, a picture is emerging of an enigmatic pathogen whose effects are mainly mild, but which occasionally -- and unpredictably -- turns deadly in the second week. In less than three months, it’s infected almost 78,000 people, mostly in China, and killed more than 2,300. Emerging hot spots in South Korea, Iran and Italy have stoked further alarm.