Thomas Hanscheid, Professor of Microbiology at FMUL
Francisco Antunes, Professor at FMUL and Specialist in Infectious Diseases
At a time when the WHO is increasingly concerned with the evolution of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, it is essential to monitor all developments regarding the spread of this new strain that has already infected more than 78 thousand people worldwide. The very rapid rise in the number of cases (especially in Italy, with 7 casualties to date) and the widespread transmission is concerning the association of public health doctors.
The subject is very much on the agenda and Thomas Hanscheid, Microbiology Professor at FMUL, in an interview to Sábado magazine, spoke about the third coronavirus that is causing global damage, stating that this scenario can be repeated “because we are more on the planet and are eating more meat”. He recalled the SARS (Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome) pandemic in 2003 and the outbreak of respiratory syndrome in the Middle East in 2012. In this interview, Thomas Hanscheid explains that in the market where we live animals are traded - and where the new coronavirus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan - not in the best conditions.
Francisco Antunes, Jubilee Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and an expert in Infectious Diseases, also commented on the outbreak of the new coronavirus in an article in Observador newspaper, stressing that the number of cases may be much higher than the official total, as it is an environmentally transmitted virus, mainly responsible for nosocomial infections, progressing to severe pneumonia, particularly among the elderly, and in those with diabetes and other chronic respiratory, heart, kidney and liver diseases, also affecting the immunosuppressed.
The recent outbreak of Coronavirus, which has already killed nearly 2,500 people worldwide, will also be a protagonist in the next edition of FMUL Talks, on 11 March at 6 pm, with Professor Emília Valadas, a researcher at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and Director of the University Clinic of Infectious Diseases at FMUL, as a speaker.