It seems that from the first few cases to identifying 2019-nCoV as a new disease happened very quickly. How were they able to identify this as a new disease and not an outbreak of a previously known but rare disease so quickly? Side question: How many patients were needed to identify this new strain of coronavirus?

If this question can be answered in the generic case as well (how do any new diseases get identified quickly), that would be good too!

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not a question about a biological problem that can be answered objectively, which is what this site is about, but a question about historic public health measures taken in China. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ @David See biology.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4040/10204 $\endgroup$
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ Your question has come back because of an edit. The meta link you posted over a month ago is irrelevant to whether a question is off-topic or not. It just expresses the view of individuals who have not backed up their opinions by answering your question. Since your original post there is a resource on information about the coronavirus on meta as a community wiki, which you can find here. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @David. That meta link doesn't answer my question. It's possible the information is in one of the further links somewhere, but then it's a link only answer. "Please provide the relevant details here." $\endgroup$
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 22:16


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