Over the past two months, the coronavirus has been spreading globally around the world. Every day new posts are put on online, showing where the virus has plotted its next evil scheme. Fear has risen among many, as everyone is wondering who the next victim will be.
This epidemic started at a market in Wuhan that sells seafood and wild game. The first person to contract this virus reportedly ate a bat containing the virus. Since the virus is zoonotic, it’s actually carried by animals, making it new to humans. Because of this, vaccines and medicines to cure the virus are still in development. Those most at risk are live animal market workers, healthcare workers, and family members caring for an infected person. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that, “The virus is airborne, meaning people near a coughing or sneezing victim are at risk of being infected. Common symptoms include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, and severe cases can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and even death.”
WHO has declared a global emergency over the coronavirus. As of February 16, the total death toll is 1,669, with an astonishing 51,857 confirmed cases with deaths (CBS). This is more deaths than SARS, another zoonotic virus which had 8,098 cases and 774 deaths. Maddie Liao (9) gives advice about the coronavirus, saying “You can prevent yourself from catching this virus by practicing basic hygiene measures, such as washing your hands and sneezing into your elbow, as well as limiting your geographic spread by travelling less.” Travel is the main cause of this, since over winter break, many people went to and from Wuhan to visit family. It can take two weeks to show symptoms, so many did not realize they were infected or spreading the virus until it was too late.
Many cruise ships were docked and quarantined because of the affected victims onboard. In one particular case in Yokohama, Japan, 300 people from the United States who were passengers were sent back to the US. Unfortunately, 14 Americans have been tested positive for the coronavirus. Those affected had the option to go back to the US as well, but in isolation from everyone else on the aircraft.
As the days go on, the number of people affected by this illness is predicted to rapidly escalate. It is spreading further and further, giving people almost no place to hide. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time before the virus begins to dissipate.