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Will the “unknown pneumonia” outbreak in Kazakhstan turn out to be caused by a pathogen other than Covid-19?

Cross-posted on Metaculus and Metaculus.

On 9 July 2020, the South China Morning Post reported that an ‘Unknown pneumonia’ deadlier than coronavirus was sweeping through Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan itself has denied this report, and Michael Ryan of the WHO has suggested that the pneumonia cases could well just been cause by Covid-19.

This question asks:

Will a pathogen which is not SARS-CoV-2 be identified as having caused hundreds of excess cases of pneumonia in Kazakhstan in the months of June & July 2020?

This question will resolve positive if, by the date of resolution:

  • A pathogen other than SARS-CoV-2 is identified by credible media reports as having caused more than 200 cases of pneumonia in Kazakhstan. Wording referring to “the majority of the excess cases”, or “the excess cases” is sufficient.

  • This pathogen has not historically been a cause of pneumonia during these months in Kazakhstan.

Otherwise, the question resolves negative.


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