Corona Craziness: The Virus Sweeping Over Mainland China

Victorianna Beels '20

Victorianna Beels, Copy Editor

   Wuhan, Hubei, China: the beginning of the newest virus that is taking the world by storm.

   Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that typically affect the respiratory tract of animals. Of the various different types of the coronavirus, there are only seven known types to affect humans. Although the term coronavirus sounds intimidating, these viruses are often associated with illnesses such as the common cold and pneumonia. With that being said, of the seven, there are three that are known to be the more severe variety of the virus including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which infected Singapore in 2003, Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers-CoV) which was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and the newest of the bunch, the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which was first noted in December of 2019.

   The coronavirus that planted itself in Wuhan, China, has been believed to be linked with seafood that was being sold in the capital city of Hubei. This market reportedly peddled live animals such as snakes, deer, as well as otters.

   Although we are not completely sure how the virus is transmitted, it is for certain that the virus can be spread through human-to-human contact. Some of the typical symptoms of the virus include a fever, a runny nose, a sore throat, a cough, and a shortness of breath, all of which are shared with the more commonly diagnosed walking pneumonia.

   The situation continuously evolves, and it is still unknown how many people will be affected by the virus. Some of the preliminary evidence suggests that the Wuhan coronavirus has potential to cause severe disease and death around the globe. Currently, at least 131 people have died, more than 4,600 cases have been confirmed in mainland China, and the virus has spread to more than 17 countries globally.

   Leaders around the globe are taking the virus incredibly seriously as more than 60 million people are under partial and even full lockdowns in cities across China. 

   The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also issued a level three (on a scale of one to three) alert warning against “all nonessential travel to China.” The statement warns, “There is an ongoing outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that can spread from person to person. There is limited access to adequate medical care in the affected areas.”

   Officials have also cracked down on the trade of wild and exotic animals after the virus was linked to the sale of seafood in the Wuhan market. This ban includes bats and civet cats, which are also linked to the SARS outbreak in Singapore 2013.