In December of 2019 a new virus, transmitted to people from animals at a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan is making attention worldwide. In this article “Need to know 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus” you will learn just that. This article was written Feb 1st 2020.
What Is A Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is actually the name for a set of illnesses, including the common cold and other respiratory infections.
These viruses were originally transmitted between animals and people. SARS, for instance, was believed to have been transmitted from civet cats to humans while MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) traveled from a type of camel to humans.
Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, the image of the virus is reminiscent of a solar corona.
A novel coronavirus, identified by Chinese authorities on January 7 and named 2019-nCoV or also know as the Wuhan Coronavirus, is a new strain that had not been previously identified in humans.
How Did This Start?
On New Year’s Eve in the city of Wuhan, which is in the Hubei Province of China, health officials were informed of a cluster of severe pneumonia cases. On January 7th, virologists and other public health researchers identified the strain as a novel coronavirus, which was tied to a specific “wet market” in the city of Wuhan where they sell fish and other live animals.
These markets have been known to transmit viruses before. For cultural reasons in the region, people want to see the specific animals they’re buying be slaughtered in front of them, so they know they’re receiving the products they paid for. That means there’s a lot of skinning of dead animals in front of shoppers and, as a result, aerosolizing of all sorts of things, which is why these crowded markets are common places for viruses to jump from animals to people. It’s actually how SARS, another coronavirus, started in 2003.
How Does The Wuhan Coronavirus Spread?
The virus can be transmitted from person to person and it is passed by coughing and other close contacts. It can spread person to person, even if someone is not showing any symptoms, it is basically spread the same way as influenza. It’s a good reminder to make sure we’re washing our hands frequently and covering our nose and mouth when we sneeze.
Signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. The incubation period of the coronavirus remains unknown. Some sources say it could be between 10 and 14 days.
Is This Coronavirus Deadly?
This is hard to tell because we don’t know exactly how many people have already died so far. As of Feb 1st 2020 the reports say that the death toll passed 300, with more than 14,000 infections confirmed. From experience, we can look at the 2003 SARS virus outbreak for predictions. SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) – virus identified in 2003. SARS-CoV is thought to be an animal virus the same as the current Wuhan Coronavirus.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 8,098 people worldwide became sick with SARS during the 2003 outbreak. Of these, 774 died. Due to the world moving much faster today the current virus is spreading much faster. Many nations are preparing for the worst to stop it while they can.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency and in China the government has locked-down almost 20 cities, in effect, has quarantined an estimated 56 million people to try and stop the spread.
Countries With Confirmed Cases Of 2019-nCov
As of Feb 1st 2020
As of Feb 1st, 2020 this as far as we know, nations are doing as much as they can to stop the spread of this new virus. The best you can do is follow normal sanitation procedures everywhere you go.
Practice good hand hygiene, using soap and water or hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Practice cough etiquette at all times: cough or sneeze into your elbow, discard used tissues and clean your hands.