Everything We Know so Far Regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak.
Latest News Surrounding The Coronavirus Outbreak
The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the outbreak as a "Global Pandemic". So far, a total of 165 countries are now affected, with over 197,000 confirmed cases, 7,900 deaths and 79,000 people having recovered from the outbreak.
1. Coronavirus Outbreak in China
- Life appears to be returning to normal in Wuhan, the Chinese city that was the point of origin for the COVID-19 outbreak.
- All temporary hospitals have been shut down in Wuhan, and number of confirmed cases in the city are now declining at a fast rate.
- Beijing, on the other hand, recently reported 1,109 new confirmed cases, reversing the total decline from the past 3 days in the country.
- A total of 81,000 confirmed cases and almost 3,200 deaths, have been reported across the country, out of which 69,000 have recovered.
2. Coronavirus Outbreak in South Korea
- South Korea has recently seen a sharp decline in coronavirus cases. This is thanks to the exceptional testing, prevention and treatment measures taken by the South Korean government.
- As of writing, the nation has over 7,800 confirmed cases and 61 deaths, with daily number of reported cases now below 100.
3. Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy
- Italy has sadly been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Out of all the European countries, Italy is the one hardest hit by this pandemic..
- The country recorded a death toll of over 345 people in just one day, which is the highest single death toll from the COVID-19 thus far.
- With a total of 31,506 confirmed cases and 2,503 deaths according to the country's health ministry and the entire country has been placed under quarantine.
4. Coronavirus Outbreak in Iran
- Iran is the second most affected country in Asia following China when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The nation currently has a death toll of 1,000 with 16,000 confirmed cases.
- Dr Afruz Eslami, a state journalist in Iran, claims that if proper precautionary measures are not followed by the general public, the total death toll across the nation could be as high as 3.5 million by the time the outbreak ends.
5. Coronavirus Outbreak in The USA
- All 50 states across the US have are now affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- US president Donald Trump recently declared a "National Emergency" because of the outbreak.
- According to the CDC, there are currently 4,226 confirmed cases and 75 deaths from the coronavirus in America.
What is The Coronavirus?
To give you a better picture of exactly what we're dealing with, a Coronavirus is basically an RNA virus, meaning it has a very high mutation rate and can alter its DNA to avoid being detected by our immune system, which makes it difficult for researchers to develop a vaccine against it.
The 2019 Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or Wuhan Coronavirus is a novel strain that only infects animals and humans. It can be transmitted through air from infected hosts to healthy individuals if they're as near as 6 feet to each other. Once it enters its host, it can lie dormant for around 14 days before causing respiratory infections. In severe cases, the infection can lead to pneumonia and is fatal.
How Did The Outbreak Start?
It is now believed that the source of the coronavirus was a wildlife market in Wuhan, China, which sold living and dead animals.
Although the exact animal responsible for the Outbreak has not yet been identified, bats are believed to be the original hosts.
It is important to point out here that bats aren't actually sold at the wet market in Wuhan. The general belief is that some bats carrying the original viral strain infected the chickens being sold at the market place, which then became the major source of the outbreak.
How Dangerous is This Outbreak?
To give you a brief rundown of why this particular outbreak is so dangerous;
- It is the largest Coronavirus outbreak in China since the SARS outbreak of 2003, with a mortality rate of 3.6% accoridng to The WHO. However, this rate varies greatly for different countries.
- The virus is highly transmittable. You can easily get infected if you'e in close proximity to an infected host.
- It's not easy to trace in it's early stages and the infected person will go on with his life, exposing his friends, family and acquaintances to the virus.
- Even when the earlier symptoms begin to show, they aren't too alarming and resemble that of a common cold or a bacterial infection.
- There's no confirmed cure or treatment for the infection. The only way to save yourself from the virus is to avoid being too close to infected people.
- So far, no vaccine is officially available for The Novel 2019 Coronavirus.
What are The Common Symptoms of a Coronavirus Infection?
Most infected people don't even show any visible symptoms during the start of the infection, which is why the outbreak has turned into a global crisis in such a short span of time.
Once the incubation stage is over, the virus causes infection in the respiratory system and the symptoms are similar to the common cold. According to the Center for Disease Control or CDC, common symptoms of the disease are;
- Shortness of breath
In final stages, the infection becomes severe and develops into full-blown pneumonia, which could cause death in certain cases.
How Can One Avoid Getting Infected?
While no vaccine is currently available for the recent Coronavirus outbreak, it's very much preventable if you follow these basic guidelines.
1. Social Distancing
- Health Organizations like the CDC and WHO have all urged the general public to practice "Social Distancing", as it's the best way to avoid getting infected.
- As such, everyone should remain indoors as much as possible avoid going out if not necessary.
- Avoid travel plans to affected countries like China, or any developing or undeveloped countries until the outbreak is contained.
- Avoid crowded areas like theme parks, cinemas, or stadiums until the outbreak is contained.
2. Basic Health Hygiene
- Practice Basic health hygiene to save yourself from getting infected.
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly, as they're actually more effective against the virus than hand sanitizers.
- Be mindful of not touching your eyes, nose or mouth without washing your hands.
- Use tissue paper to cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing and discard it properly after use.
- Sanitation is key! So use good disinfectants to clean your utensils and furniture.
How to properly wash your hands for protection against The Coronavirus
3. In Case You're Infected
- If you show signs of infection, visit your nearest hospital immediately or contact the disease control and treatment center available in your area.
- If you are infected use an N95 mask to prevent the virus from spreading further. You don't necessarily have to use an N95 or any other mask if you're not infected.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Sarmad Habib Khan