This colored image from a transmission electron microscope by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is of a single Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) virion particle envelope. (CDC/Unsplash)
As of February 10th, CNN has reported that the death toll has increased from 910 to 1,013. 103 more people have passed away in the Hubei province near Wuhan in Mainland China. The number of confirmed cases now exceeds 42,500.
Even as nations continue to evacuate their people from Wuhan (the epicenter of the breakout) and precautions are being taken by the World Health Organization (WHO) and airports, the virus has still found its way to various places in other countries. There have been confirmed cases in 37 states already, including in big cities like Seattle and Boston. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that only 15 cases tested positive and 68 are still pending while 318 cases tested negative. Only 4 cases have been confirmed. Still, health organizations all over the world continue their efforts to contain the virus and ensure the safety of their people.
The US bears better news than the majority of the world.
Hong Kong currently has 42 confirmed cases. An apartment block was partially evacuated due to possible contamination through the air ducts running through the building. Up in Europe, two health workers in the UK have also contracted the virus. The cases between the two seem to be linked, and public health officials are doing their best to test anyone who could have come into close contact with them.
The Coronavirus does not just stop on land, though; the epidemic has been plaguing the sea as well. Multiple cruise ships have been halted in Thailand, Hong Kong, Yokohama, and New Jersey with possible cases of the virus. There were no confirmed cases on Westerdam (Thailand) and World Dream (Hong Kong) and all those screened on Anthem of the Seas (New Jersey) were cleared. The Anthem of the Seas is now set to sail to Bermuda after 4 possible cases came back negative. Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama, however, just had 65 confirmed cases of coronavirus, adding to the 70 already confirmed cases. 23 of these cases are Americans.
News about the coronavirus is not new. When the virus only existed in Wuhan, Dr. Li Wenliang, a whistleblower, warned officials about the virus. He stated that it was “SARS-like” and extremely dangerous to the public, urging for it to be contained as soon as possible and be treated as a public health emergency. The officials seemed to have not taken his words of caution to seriously. Li has died of the same coronavirus he tried to warn against in the same hospital he worked in.
Most confirmed cases group in southeast Asia, in countries such as China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and Japan. Only Mainland China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines have had deaths due to the virus.
Signs of the coronavirus include the flu, a fever, headache, shortness of breath, or even just a “general feeling of being unwell,” according to the CDC. The virus can spread through the air, and person-to-person contraction is possible. As the death toll escalates, the exigency of curing and containing this epidemic intensifies.
Image by the CDC via Unsplash.com: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0213-15th-coronavirus-case.html