It’s viral and it’s deadly

Lily Torres, Staff Writer

The human race has been dealing with plagues and diseases since the beginning. However, nothing has prepared us for the surprise known as the Coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The world is now facing a new strain of the disease that until now, has not been exposed to humans. 

This strain of virus is known as zoonotic. This means that it is able to be transmitted between animals and people. Common symptoms include respiratory issues, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulty. When the infection becomes more serious it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and in the worst cases it can cause death. 

Unfortunately, there is no current vaccine that can protect the human body from the virus. However, the Center for Disease Control  recommends daily actions that can help prevent someone from catching the virus. Aside from avoiding being exposed to the virus, people can avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, staying home when you are ill, etc. The CDC also recommends wearing a facemask. However it should be known that people who are well should not wear a facemask to protect themselves. Those that are showing signs of the virus should consider wearing a facemask if they are in important positions like health workers or taking care of someone in a healthcare facility.

 This new strain of coronavirus was first found in China but can now be found in 60 different locations internationally, including the United States. The official name of the virus is “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease that it causes has been named “Coronavirus 2019”. 

The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared this outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern” on January 30, 2020. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the U.S. to aid in the country’s healthcare community in responding to the outbreak on January 31, 2020. 

Strains of this particular illness can be found in humans and many different species of animals. This includes camels, cattle, cats, and bats. It is rare that coronaviruses infect people because they are typically only found in animals. Examples of this include MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and in addition, this new strain. All three of these illnesses originated in bats and are known as beta coronaviruses. The outbreak of the virus started in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and many of the patients had some link to a large seafood and live animal market. This indicated an animal-to-person spread. Then, patient numbers were growing within people who reported that they did not have any link to animal markets. This indicated a person-to-person spread. Cases of this virus were reported in countries outside of China, including the United States and Europe. 

Outbreaks of this newly found illness have been found in more than 78 countries and are continuing to spread in South Korea, Italy, Iran, and the U.S. So far, at least 11 people have died of this disease in the United States. The disease has been discovered in 17 states so far. Experts were struggling to get a grasp about how easily this disease can spread and how deadly it actually is. The head of the World Health Organization has stated that it could be more lethal by less easily transmitted than everyone has thought. The World Health Organization chief urged countries that are facing an outbreak to test more citizens as quickly as possible. Faulty te4sts were distributed and the CDC was working with private organizations to get local health authorities across the United States to continue to test more people. Vice President, Mike Pence, has stated that 1.5 million tests have already been available. 

This disease is going viral and it’s spreading fast. Many people have been infected and some have even died due to this disease. It is advised to take as many precautions as you can. These include washing your hands, keeping hands away from your face, wearing a mask if you have symptoms, and avoiding anyone who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus.