For current information, click these links:
Original story remains posted below
In the U.S.: (2020-03-15 19:49 EST)
3 states with the most number of confirmed cases:
Washington (896 confirmed, 44 deaths)
New York (849 confirmed, 10 deaths)
California (480 confirmed, 7 deaths)
Coronavirus News Story
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of “coronavirus disease 2019” (“Covid-19”) a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC), which is a public health crisis that is serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected, and may necessitate immediate international action.
What is coronavirus?
According to CDC.gov, coronaviruses are “a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.” In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. The most recently discovered coronavirus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “Covid-19,” commonly known as the “coronavirus.”
Where and when was SARS-CoV-2 first discovered?
In December 2019, the Covid-19 disease first emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus with its origin in bats. Research has shown that likely single, recent emergence of this virus is from an animal reservoir.
How does SARS-CoV-2 spread?
Early on, many patients in Wuhan had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread.
WHO has concluded that “the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person” which includes close contact and respiratory droplets.
How is China responding to the virus?
To minimize the damage around the world, the Chinese government provided free testing and offers free treatment for every citizen. China also suspended public gatherings in the country and locked down the city of Wuhan and other two small cities that also exploded with the disease. In Wuhan, three hospitals were built in two weeks. Both are designated to treating Covid-19 patients.
At this time, many cities in China have reported zero new infected patients (confirmed nor suspicious) since the week of March 2.
What are the symptoms?
Fever, cough, and shortness of breath may occur after 14 days of exposure.
What did China do to prevent the virus from spreading?
According to Vox, patients identified with Covid-19 were treated immediately and quarantined.
How is Covid-19 in the United States?
According to cdc.gov, it’s likely that “sustained person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including throughout communities in the United States.” Also, “it’s likely that at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur.”
To prevent more potential virus-carriers from entering the United States, the United States government announced it was suspending entry of foreign nationals who have been in Iran and China within the past 14 days.
CDC also listed China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea as Level 3 countries, suggesting that travelers should necessitate cancellation of any travel plans to those countries.
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands
- Maintain at least 1 meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Vaccine, drug or treatment?
Not yet. Possible vaccines and specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials.
Should I wear a mask?
In the U.S., only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19.
- respiratory illnesses
- have similar symptoms
- can be deadly, especially for the elderly
- The death rate from seasonal flu is typically around 0.1% in the U.S., according to the New York Times, while the death rate from COVID-19 to be around 2.3%, according to the China CDC Weekly.
- We know what to expect from the flu, but we don’t know how severe an outbreak of Covid-19 disease might be and how many people it would kill.
- No treatment/drugs/vaccination for Covid-19 disease.
Coronavirus in Ohio
Governor Mike DeWine has declared a state of emergency in Ohio due to three individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Cuyahoga County. Click here for more details.