There has been a recent outbreak of the coronavirus, which is a spreading virus that causes respiratory issues in mammals, including humans and birds. Although the symptoms have typically been mild, there have been many recent cases that have shown that the virus can in fact be lethal. Although the virus can exhibit a myriad of symptoms among animals, in humans, the virus causes severe fever, common colds (with a stuffy and infection in the nose), pneumonia, and even severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The virus was speculated to have identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, through exposure to live- animal and meat markets, and there have been reports of more than 1,000 confirmed cases in China, including some cases outside of Wuhan City. The number of cases of coronavirus recently rose to 2,700, and there has been a death toll of 80 in China.
The mayor of Wuhan, which currently is the center of the recent outbreak, said that the confirmed 1,000 cases of this mysterious illness are a clear indicator of the fact that the attempts of China to halt the spreading of this virus are not successful, and that the tried efforts to prevent the disease from spreading are truly just starting. Around the 3,000 suspected cases for this disease, around one half of these cases would test positive for this disease, which is quite concerning for the population of China. The mayor, Zhou Xianwang also stated that five million people have left Wuhan before the leaving of the city was restricted, leaving the 9 million people in China still living there.
On early Sunday, China announced 15 more deaths from the new coronavirus, including one from Shanghai, 13 deaths from the Hubei Province, and one in the Henan Province. Across the country, 688 new cases were diagnosed on Saturday, the government said on early Saturday.
Even more concerning, 5 US reports have been confirmed by the CDC, three reports being in California, and two cases being in Arizona. Those who have been confirmed having the virus have all visited Wuhan recently, and were all being kept in isolation. There have also been smaller cases in Chicago and in Washington State. The CDC also said that there were about 100 patients that were “under investigation”, from 26 different states being monitored due to the fact that they had recently visited Wuhan, or had contact with patients, or exhibited typical symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Although the risk to the public is a low threat, the threat is serious, says Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The CDC is encouraging all to get flu shots, to reduce the number of individuals seeking treatments for symptoms that can be mistaken for the coronavirus.
In large cities such as Hong Kong, which has had experience with the coronavirus in 2003, with nearly 300 deaths has started to implement the ban of individuals from Hubei Province, which includes Wuhan, and people who had been to the province in the past 14 days from entering Hong Kong until further notice.
The spread of the virus by individuals who have no symptoms would make the disease harder to control, speculates Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, who is a former CDC director. Much about the virus is unknown, however one fact is certain: the spread of this virus is an epidemic, and needs to be controlled before it becomes a global concern. For now, as the CDC continues to learn more about the virus, they recommend watching out for those who have seem to display the symptoms of the virus, to reduce mass crowding and anxiety, and for extreme measures, wear a mask, and protect yourself from any potential respiratory danger. With huge plane delays, and crowding in the capital of China, many trying to flee the country, the virus has truly dominated China, and is on its way towards threatening the rest of the world, and we must take all measures necessary to protect ourselves.