What type of virus is it?
The virus is being called 2019-nCOV which is a type of coronavirus. Some coronavirus’ are relatively harmless with symptoms close to a common cold. However, the 2019 virus is being compared to SARS-COV which is a more serious and even lethal virus.
What are the symptoms?
The virus gives out common signs of infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and even breathing issues. It is causing pneumonia, which if not treated can lead to more severe symptoms and potentially be lethal. Scientists are now saying the virus could be contagious before symptoms appear.
Where did the virus start?
The epicenter for the disease according to the National Health Commission is Wuhan, China. First cases started with pneumonia-like symptoms on December 31. The following day, January 1st the seafood/animal market in Wuhan was closed.
How does the virus spread?
Recent news from China has confirmed the coronavirus is now spreading through contact with an infected person. Coughing and sneezing is a highly effective way to spread the virus. It attacks the respiratory system. In order to help prevent getting the virus, it is best to wash your hands frequently. Furthermore, many infectious disease specialists are saying cheap disposable masks can be worn, however, they must be worn consistently and properly in order to be effective.
How many people have died from it?
With the most recent updates, 1,000 people have died from the virus. More than 40,000 people have been infected, and the numbers are increasing. Between January 26-27 there was a 65% increase in the number of cases reported in mainland China. Eleven cases have been identified in the United States. Additionally, there have been over 180 cases out of China, and it has spread to 25 other countries including the US, Australia, France, and Germany. As of Monday, January 27, the U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a level four alert/warning on the virus which is the highest alert on the scale. China’s hospitals are being overwhelmed, and several hospitals are not accepting any more patients even patients with similar symptoms of the virus. With such large populations in China, there is a lack of beds and basic medical supplies. Chinese officials are looking to create a vaccine. However, they are saying it will not be ready anytime soon, and it can take several months or even years to develop a vaccine.
How will this affect the Chinese New Year?
January 25, 2020, was when China hosted a celebration for the Chinese New Year. This time period is the world’s largest human migration period. As of the last new year in 2019, more than three billion people migrated to China to enjoy the festival. With the latest news, China has restricted airlines for over 60 million people in an effort to contain the virus. This year during the celebration only two-thirds of the usual number of people came to China compared to the last Chinese New Year.
The picture is from Skynews.com