Environment

The Coronavirus Outbreak

Ayana Nwozo

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An illustration of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) (Courtesy of CDC and KQED News)

The world has been in shock and terror of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or also known as 2019-nCoV. The Coronavirus is a new respiratory virus that was first identified last year in Wuhan, China.

According to the World Health Organization Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness’ ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. However, the Novel coronavirus that the world is seeing affect people today is a new strain that has not been identified in humans.

As of now the virus has no vaccine and is very contagious. The Sun UK reports that the virus can spread through contact (like how people catch the common cold).

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Countries (in red) with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases as of Feb 4, 2020 (Courtesy of ABC News)

The U.S now has a confirmed report of 11 cases of the virus in U.S citizens. ABC News reports that 9 of the patients have traveled to China and 2 others contracted it through their spouses.

The virus is spreading rapidly  with over 20,000 reported cases and over 500 deaths reported by NY Times, the U.S Secretary of Health declared a public health emergency in the U.S and announced a travel ban on flights to China. American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines suspended all U.S flights as of last week.

Americans who have recently been out of the country to places where the virus has spread, must be put under a 14-day quarantine. Flights are evacuating Americans out of China to several military bases and select hotel facilities, where they will be held under quarantine until proven healthy.

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Passengers board buses after arriving to the U.S. from being evacuated from China (Courtesy of CNN)

Two plane loads of about 350 people, who are mostly American citizens says the NY Times, arrived at Travis Air Force Base and Marine Corps Air Station on Wednesday. Both bases are in California and are holding/testing those who may have been exposed to the virus while in China and surrounding countries.

Here in Dover, earlier this week, a resident was tested for a potential case of the coronavirus. The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) gave the update that the test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention came back negative for the virus. However, the CDC and DPH are both on alert but also state that the risk of spreading to the public is very low in the U.S.

To prevent infection, limit human contact and keep close with antibacterial soaps and hand sprays. It is the same process as preventing the common cold. Citizens no matter the country should also avoid touching eyes, noses and mouths with unclean hands.

The travel ban will continue to stay in effect until the shown that the threat is no longer a problem within the U.S.

Categories: Environment, Health, science

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