A new kind of respiratory virus is going around in China and it’s already affected over 900 people, and counting.
Please do not jump from your seat in a state of panic and decry that the world is ending. Let us tell you all there is to it.
It all began in Wuhan, China, at a seafood market, where they also sell live animals. The new virus, dubbed 2019-nCoV and more commonly referred to as the cornavirus, is relative of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome),which had its outbreak in the 2000s. The cornavirus, like SARS, was only found in animals, until it mutated and spread to humans. From there, it mutated further and can now be spread from human to human.
It’s a respiratory virus that starts as a common cold and those affected experience symptoms like a runny nose, a sore throat, cough, headaches and maybe a fever.
Don’t panic?!” you say? Correct, because this is not a Hollywood disaster film and you aren’t going to turn into a zombie. The virus is jumps from human to human mostly through contact with secretions, like droplets from a cough. This is why you should cough/sneeze into your shirt or arm and wash your hands properly. Not that you shouldn’t be doing these things normally.
Unfortunately, we live in a global world and people love to travel. While the outbreak may have originated in China, cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the U.S., France, Japan, and many South-East Asian countries.
What’s being done about it?
The city of Wuhan is currently quarantined as officials try and contain the virus that has already killed 41 people. Transportation in and out of the city has been suspended, along with multiple other cities in Hubei province.
The travel bans coincide with the Chinese government cancelling all large mass-celebrations of the auspicious Chinese New Year. The government was left with no other choice, as the annual celebration typically brings in thousands of people to the mainland.
International governments are also increasing their precautionary measures, even though the World Health Organization has yet to declare the current outbreak a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ or PHEIC.
Passengers flying in from China are being heavily screened at international airports around the world, before being permitted to enter the country. Without a vaccine on the market, the precautionary measures are at least a step in the right direction to mitigate the outbreak.