The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the spread of Novel (new) Coronavirus as a global health emergency.
Origins of the Virus
According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), this type of coronavirus causes people to suffer from respiratory illness and was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. However, with 98 cases outside of China, this is proof that the virus is spreading. The virus can even be found in parts of the United States and Canada as of January 20th, 2020.
The CDC has began to closely monitor travelers coming in and out of countries affected by the virus who may be displaying symptoms of Novel Coronavirus.
The global health emergency declared by WHO is strictly due to their concerns over what could happen if the virus were to spread to a country that is less equipped to deal with an outbreak of this nature.
The most likely source of this strand of virus can be traced to human contact with bats, much like SARS and MERS. It is because of this that it is believed to have emerged in the U.S. from an animal reservoir. From there, the U.S. has developed it’s first case from person-to-person contact.
As the threat increases, some countries are even considering restricting transportation to affected countries. Surprisingly, China is not one of them; although they have seen the most cases, with the most recently reported number being over 8200 infected peoples (surpassing the number of cases in the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003). WHO supports China’s decision due to their confidence in their ability to conceal the virus despite social contradictions.
With the symptoms almost mimicking the common cold or flu, it may be hard to spot. But here are the symptoms of Novel Coronavirus:
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- A general feeling of being unwell
These symptoms may appear in as soon as 2 days.
How it Spreads
The CDC, WHO, as well as the medical professionals researching the virus all agree that the virus can be spread through close contact. Originally it is believed that Novel Coronavirus was spread from animal to person, with most recent cases being caused by person-to-person interaction.
How to Take Action
The best course of action to take is to maintain your personal hygiene and do your best to limit exposure to those showing signs or symptoms of the illness, especially if they have recently traveled.
If you are experiencing symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider about any recent travel or contact with animals.
Ultimately, you must take a deep breath and trust in the medical professionals and emergency personnel working extremely hard to slow and stop the spread of Novel Coronavirus.
More updates soon to come.