First there was the norovirus, and now there’s the coronavirus. The coronavirus has been spreading global panic as its death toll steadily rises. So far, nearly 3,000 people have contracted the virus, with most of them living in China. In China alone, over 80 people have passed away.
The infection initially started in the city of Wuhan, located in the Hubei province of China. Many companies are suspending deliveries or any collaborations in China. Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Disney have all discontinued operations and added travel restrictions in response to the outbreak. Even some car makes such as PSA Group, and Honda Motor have started removing employees from China. Others are further evaluating the crisis on an ongoing basis.
Shanghai even issues a notice urging companies to hold off on going to work until February 3, rather than the usual January 31, and all public transportation has been stopped in Wuhan. Individuals in other countries who have recently traveled to Wuhan is asked to self-isolate, to avoid spreading the sickness further.
The World Health Organization first assessed the global risk of the virus as “moderate”, but it has recently been changed to “high.”
This isn’t the most pleasant way to finish off the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Still, there is some information about the coronavirus that everyone needs to know, as well as the necessary precautions to stay safe.
What is the coronavirus?
There are several types of human coronaviruses, including NL63, HKU1, OC43, and 229E, which are the most common alpha and beta varieties. There are also MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and lastly, 2019 nCoV, or 2019 Novel Coronavirus, which is the latest outbreak identified in Wuhan City.
The sickness generally starts with a mild to moderate upper-respiratory-tract infections.
Although we are talking about the human coronavirus, this family of viruses can be transmitted between animals and people.
The human coronaviruses can first appear like the common cold and cause you to exhibit:
Shortness of breath/breathing issues
In some cases, the coronavirus can cause more serious lower-respiratory tract illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. The likelihood of this happening is increased for seniors, infants, and those who don’t have a robust immune system.
How it’s diagnosed
Healthcare providers can diagnose the coronavirus with lab tests and symptoms. Travel history is an integral part of this diagnosis.
How it spreads
Coronavirus is most commonly spread through:
Personal physical contact, including shaking hands or other forms of touching
Airborne due to sneezing or couching
Physical contact with an item that has touched the virus, then touching eyes/nose/mouth
How to prevent coronavirus
Reduce your risk of contracting this virus by frequently washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If your hands are unwashed, do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose. Additionally, try not to come into close contact with others who are sick or exhibiting symptoms. There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for the coronaviruses. If you show any of the coronavirus symptoms, reach out to a doctor for diagnosis or treatment immediately.
People are in widespread fear of a global coronavirus take-over, and while the stock markets are currently suffering, following these simple guidelines can help significantly in reducing the chances of infection. On its own, the coronavirus is simply a virus family that causes a large number of common colds in both adults and children. However, when undiagnosed and progressing to more severe respiratory infections, it can become deadly.
Potential Travel to China
If you have upcoming plans to visit China, the US State Department is warning against it. Apart from health issues, the Chinese government may put travel bans or restrictions without advance notice, which could be dangerous for travelers. The department further went own to say, “US government has limited ability to provide emergency services” to its citizens that happen to be stranded in China.
Stock market crash
Although this is just a volatile economic reaction instead of the end of the world, stock market activity has plunged over the past few days due to the coronavirus. After China announced the quick rise in the potentially fatal virus, there was a sell-off in European and Japanese markets. Investors worried that the illness will prevent worldwide economic growth. Hopefully, this selling mania is just temporary, and our world will have its order restored relatively soon. Come on, scientists!