The coronavirus currently sweeping across China has all these characteristics. It can pass directly from one human to another. It takes up to 14 days to fully incubate. And, according to Chinese authorities, long before an individual becomes symptomatic, he or she is contagious.
There are also other facts concerning this virus that should give us pause. The only bio lab in China at which work can be done on viruses of this type is located just outside the city of Wuhan – the epicenter of the growing epidemic. The coronavirus is also known to be of interest to Chinese bio-researchers, and, in fact, last year Chinese intelligence personnel were implicated in the theft of coronavirus from a Canadian lab and the transport of the organism to China.
None of that is conclusive. None of that tells us definitively that the virus is manmade or even that humans had any part in its release. The leading theory is that the virus entered the human population from a market in Wuhan where animals known to carry the coronavirus are sold as food. That remains, as of this writing, the most likely explanation for what is now happening.