The mysterious respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan, China has entered a new phase. The coronavirus has altered and can now be spread from human to human. China’s mystery virus has caused six deaths, it’s begun infecting medical personnel, and now has spread to five countries.
Nearly 300 cases have been confirmed in China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the U.S. The first case in America was just reported in Seattle. Health-Care workers contracting the virus raises concerns significantly. When the disease first emerged it was thought to only come from consuming food infected with the virus.
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The Lunar New Year Holiday is quickly approaching. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are making travel plans around the globe, the concern here is that China will not be able to control the spread of the pathogen.
“The risk from this virus causing pandemonium has increased because it is spreading from different countries, and we are now seeing that it can be more easily transmitted from person to person.
“The one good factor, I guess, at the moment seems to be the low mortality rate.”
– Sanmaya Senanayake (associate professor of medicine at the Australian National University)
In a report released by China’s state news agency Xinhua, fifteen medical professionals have contracted the virus and one is in critical condition. The fact that the virus was transmitted to medical workers is highly concerning because of the heavy precautions that were taken in Wuhan.
Zhou Xianwang the mayor of Wuhan had this to say to CCTV China’s state broadcasting network. The city has reported 258 coronavirus cases as of Jan 20, 63 patients are in serious or critical condition.
“It’s important to stress that this virus at the moment has been causing mild illness in the vast majority of people that have been affected. There’s around 10% of cases that have ended up in critical condition and there’s been deaths, but the vast majority of the 200 plus infected have resulted in mild illness.”
– Adam Kamradt-Scott ( University of Sydney associate professor)
Victims range in age from 25-89 and 77 new cases have been reported. Temperature screenings have been set up in most major airports from Australia to New York scanning all passengers coming from the affected areas. The initial symptoms are fever, cough, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
(Cover photo courtesy of Business Insider 2nd photo courtesy of Daily mail, source Bloomberg)