Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

Officials in China are racing to contain a
deadly new strain of virus that has infected more than 500 people and left almost 20 dead. Chinese officials have blocked all transportation
in and out of the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak of the “2019 novel coronavirus” or
“2019-nCoV” originated. Two nearby cities were facing similar lock-downs
from Thursday evening. U.S. health officials confirmed the first
case in the U.S. on Tuesday, in a man in his 30s who had recently traveled from Wuhan,
China, to Seattle. Officials said Wednesday that the man had
at least 16 close contacts with other individuals before he was placed in isolation. On Monday, a Chinese scientist confirmed that
there can be human-to-human transmission of the flu-like illness. As of Thursday, the death toll from the coronavirus
stood at 17, all of those victims in China. What is a coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses
that can cause illnesses as minor as a cold, or as serious as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
(MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization. They often present with pneumonia-like symptoms. The viruses are transmitted from animals to
humans — the virus that causes SARS, for example, was transmitted to humans from a
cat-like animal called a civet. But in some instances, as appears to be the
case with this new strain of coronavirus, they can also be transmitted between humans. The World Health Organization said there are
multiple known coronaviruses circulating in animals that have not yet been transmitted
to humans. How did the new strain start? The outbreak began in Wuhan, a city of 11
million people. Many of the patients have reportedly been
linked to Hua Nan Seafood Wholesale Market, a large seafood and animal market in the city
But a rising number of people have apparently contracted the virus without exposure to the
market, according to Chinese officials. The market was closed on January 1, 2020 for
“environmental sanitation and disinfection,” according to the World Health Organization. How many people have died? At least 17 people have died from the illness,
according to Chinese officials. The first patient, a 61-year-old man, died
January 9. Two more patients died January 15 and January
18. The national health commission of China said
the fourth patient, an 89-year-old man, died January 19 after he was admitted to the hospital
with severe breathing difficulties a day earlier. The remaining deaths were announced Tuesday
and Wednesday. The commission added that 169 patients were
being treated in the local hospital as of Tuesday, January 21. Where is it? While the virus originated in the Wuhan area
of central China, cases have also been reported in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the
U.S. and Singapore. All the deaths have been in China. How is it transmitted? It’s well-established that coronaviruses can
spread from animals to humans, according to the World Health Organization. But on Monday, a Chinese official confirmed
there have been cases in which this virus has spread from human to human. State-run CCTM quoted Zhong Nanshan, a scientist
at the China’s National Health Commission, as saying such transmission was “affirmative.” The scientist did not say how many cases were
the result of human-to-human transmission — but in one case, a hospital patient is
said to have infected 14 medical workers, reports Inocencio. What’s being done to stop the spread? The World Health Organization announced Monday
that it will convene an Emergency Committee on the virus this week in Geneva, Switzerland,
to determine if the outbreak rises to the level of a public health emergency. The committee met on Wednesday and decided
to extend its deliberation by a day. “The decision about whether or not to declare
a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously
and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of the available evidence,”
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. Meanwhile, the CDC has deployed about 100
workers total to screen passengers at the three major ports of airline entry in the
U.S.: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Approximately 5,000 passengers from Wuhan
are expected to pass through those airports in the coming weeks. The CDC announced Tuesday that it will also
start screening at Atlanta’s international airport and O’Hare International Airport in
Chicago. The CDC said it has developed a test to diagnose
the virus. Currently, that test must be administered
at the CDC, but the organization is working to share the test with domestic and international
partners. In Hong Kong, which was ravaged by SARS in
2002 and 2003, hospitals upped their alert level to “serious” and implemented temperature
checkpoints for inbound travelers. Along with closing transportation in and out
of Wuhan and other cities, Chinese scientists said they had determined the DNA sequence
of the new coronavirus, which could aid in the development of treatments, and potentially
a vaccine. But there could be a problem: Hundreds of
millions of people are moving through China to celebrate the Chinese New Year, stoking
fears that the virus could spread even faster.

3 thoughts on “Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

  1. This video was written 3 days ago (1/23). Some of numbers like people infected and confirmed deaths have increased. All the other info in the video is correct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *