The incubation period for coronavirus is up to 24 days. This is 10 days longer than previously thought by experts. The study was co-authored by Dr Zhong Nanshan, who discovered the SARS coronavirus in 2003 and has been appointed a leading consultant in managing the current coronavirus crisis.
Currently, recommendations from medical organizations and ministries say that the incubation period for the virus is as much as 14 days.
The England Department of Health and the Department of Health and Welfare have strongly advised all persons traveling from infected countries, including China, to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.
The new results come from an analysis of data from 1,099 coronavirus patients from 522 hospitals in 31 provinces in China.
Of these patients, 55 were admitted to the intensive care unit, some with severe pneumonia as a result of the virus, and 15 died.
They found that only 1.8% of the patients "had direct contact with wildlife."
Most of the patients contracted the virus through contact with residents of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
The study concluded that the virus "spreads rapidly through person-to-person transmission" and its severity "predicts poor clinical outcomes."
More than 80 percent of patients develop lymphopenia, which is a condition in which the specificity of white blood cells, which are part of the body's first line of defense against disease, decreases.