Coronavirus causes lockdown of Wuhan and surrounding countries


Sean Lee, Staff Writer

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus began in Wuhan, China and has spread to various countries. In an effort to quarantine the area, the Chinese government has restricted anyone except medical personnel from flying in or out of the city. In addition to the quarantine zone that has been set up, countries such as the U.S., Malaysia, and Japan have stopped all flights to China. Even though there have been many preventative measures put in place, the number of infected and dead rises each day. Currently, there are 24,505 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, with 24,292 coming from mainland China.

What is the Coronavirus?

The 2019-nCoV is a coronavirus that specifically infects the respiratory system of victims. Symptoms of the virus may include fevers, coughing, and shortness of breath. The initial cases of the Coronavirus have been directly linked to the Wuhan food market. DNA testing has shown that the virus most likely originated from bats, but it is unsure exactly as to how it mutated to be able to infect humans. Even though the first cases of Coronavirus originated from the Wuhan market, many patients infected by the virus have reportedly had no exposure to the animal markets. These reports suggest that the virus is able to be transmitted like any other respiratory pathogen: through direct contact with an infected person.

How Does the Coronavirus Compare to Other Diseases?

Compared to other coronaviruses, the 2019-nCoV currently has a relatively low fatality rate. The 2019-nCoV only has a fatality rate of around 2.2% while Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have fatality rates of 9.6% and 34.4% respectively.

Even though the Coronavirus has a relatively low mortality rate, this does not mean that countries are unjustified in closing borders. The World Health Organization has declared that the Coronavirus is a public health emergency. As of now, the only way of preventing the Coronavrius from becoming a worldwide problem is through quarantine.

Has Anyone Been Infected in the U.S.?

Currently, there have been only 11 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the U.S.. There have been no deaths as of yet due to the Coronavirus in the U.S.. The US Department of State has issued a level 4 travel advisory, stating that people should not travel to China due to the outbreak. Travelers who arrive from China will have to complete a health screening in order to enter the country.