On January 31st, 2020, American Airlines and Delta Airlines announced that they were suspending all flights too and from China, where a new form of the coronavirus has resulted in widespread illness.
Coronavirus Outbreak Kills Hundreds
This new mutation of the coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, is believed to have made the jump from animals to humans. It was on December 31st, 2019 that several people reported symptoms in Wuhan, the largest city in the Hubei province in China. Researchers have tracked the source of the virus and believe that the initial patients were exposed somewhere in the Huanan Seafood Market, which sells everything from fish to snakes, porcupines, and beavers.
Although it is believed the virus mutated from an animal form, it still has yet to be determined which animals are the original source.
By January 9th, 2020, China confirmed the first fatality caused by the virus. Since then, nearly 9,000 people have confirmed infection and at least 200 have died.
What Is Coronavirus And How Does It Spread?
There are many forms of the coronavirus and the majority of these forms are not dangerous, although they will make a patient feel ill. The virus gets its name from its crown-like shape and was first identified in the 1960s. The average person will have a version of the coronavirus during their lifetime.
Typically the virus causes respiratory infections and results in coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat. Occasionally a patient may also develop an ear infection, although this occurs primarily in children.
The virus spreads like many others – through contact. Touching an infected person’s hands, the doorknob they used, or being sneezed on could transfer the virus. Since the virus is easily spread, outbreaks are common.
Coronavirus Quickly Left China And Infected People In Other Countries
China is a popular travel destination so it should come as no surprise that the virus has traveled quickly to other countries. Japan, Taiwan, the United States, and 15 other countries have all reported cases of the virus. In response, China has placed a quarantine around the affected area and many countries are warning citizens about the risk of traveling there.
Is There A Vaccine For The Coronavirus?
No, at this time there is not a vaccine for the coronavirus.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have The Coronavirus?
If you suspect that you have contracted coronavirus you should consult your doctor as quickly as possible. While most previously healthy patients will be fine, those with underlying medical conditions may be in danger.
It’s always good to stay home if you believe you are ill to avoid spreading the illness to others. Be sure to stay warm, drink plenty of fluids, and rest.