Coronavirus: Alarmingly over 2000 infected in China


Death toll speedily reaches 56 people from a new coronavirus in China following a deadly threat in the central city of Wuhan, forcing the government lockdown in more than a dozen cities with a population of 56 million people. Around 2,000 cases have been reported until Sunday, the vast majority in Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province.

WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day we were informed, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.

 Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people get infected with coronaviruses at one point in their lives, but symptoms are typically mild to moderate. In some cases, the viruses can cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis. 

American and Delta Airlines have suspend China flights

American and Delta, two of the largest U.S. airlines, said Friday that they are suspending flights to China due to coronavirus threat.

American said its suspension will last through March 27 and that the company will see the situation. That date could be pushed back.

Delta said its suspension will start Feb. 6 and last through April 30.

United also said it would suspend some flights to China in part because of a decline in demand.

American, United and Delta join a lengthy list of airlines that have canceled flights due to the outbreak. — Jason Abbruzzese

These viruses are common amongst animals worldwide, but only a handful of them are known to affect humans. Rarely, coronaviruses can evolve and spread from animals to humans. This is what happened with the coronaviruses known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-Cov), both of which are known to cause more severe symptoms.

People around in 15 countries have been diagnosed with the threat of coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Countries are as follows:

Canada, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Nepal, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan

More than 56 million people in almost 20 Chinese cities – including Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province where the virus stemmed from have been under a strict lockdown, introduced amid fears the transmission rate will balloon as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel during Lunar New Year celebrations.

Travel Risks

As deadly coronavirus outbreak centered in China, it’s no surprise that there’s fear about the spread of the disease and concerns about travel risks.

The White House declared it’s considering banning all flights between the US and China. British Airways announced it would halt travel to the country. And Australia revealed it’s taking the extraordinary measure of sending returning citizens from the affected city Wuhan, the center of China’s outbreak, to a remote island 1,200 miles off the coast of the mainland.

A huge increase from January when it looked like there were no more than forty cases. While the vast majority of these individuals (5,970) are in mainland China, and most (3,554) are concentrated in the outbreak’s epicenter, Hubei province — home to Wuhan — a handful of infected travelers have made their way out of the country. The virus is still spreading in more than 30 Chinese provinces and cities — including Shanghai, Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Beijing.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) are both caused by coronaviruses that came from animals. Although Mers is believed to be transmitted to humans from dromedaries, the original hosts for both coronaviruses were probably bats. There are suspicions now that the new coronavirus may have originated in bats or snakes, and possibly then was transmitted to humans via an intermediary species. In 2002 Sars spread virtually unchecked to 37 countries, causing global panic, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750. Mers appears to be less easily passed from human to human, but has greater lethality, killing 35% of about 2,500 people who have been infected.

On 31 December 2019, WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.

On 7th Jan, Chinese authorities verified that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold. New virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”

A second emergency hospital is to be built there within weeks to handle 1,300 new patients, and will be finished in half a month, state newspaper the People’s Daily said. It is the second such rapid construction project: work on another 1,000-bed hospital has already begun.

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