During the second meeting of International Health Regulation, the World Health Organization (W.H.O) officially announced the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as a global emergency due to the increasing number of infected cases. Significantly, according to W.H.O, the number of those infected has reached over 24,000 cases and 493 deaths. Even though most of the death cases are in Wuhan (China) – where it was originally started, the low number of risks in America doesn’t mean we should not be aware and informed toward this global issue.
Getty Images taken by Agence France-Presse
The front of Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan (China)
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first appeared in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province in China. When it first broke out, Wuhan’s seafood market was allegedly the source of nCoV. However, after research and investigation, bats seem likely to be the source of nCoV. It is proven that this disease can be transmitted between humans and animals. The most alarming aspect of nCoV is this virus is extremely contagious. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the common signs of the disease are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. People are currently suspected that nCoV can be transmitted through human fluid and respiration.
Opposed to MERS-CoV, nCoV symptoms can occur from 2 days up to 14 days after being infected. Due to the long incubation period, not many people are able to be aware of the disease that they might carry. As a result, the increase of infected cases in China and other countries rise hence the long incubation period and the sensitive timing of the virus’ outbreak. The outbreak occured right at Lunar New Year – an important holiday for most of Asia countries. Consequently, people in Asia, especially Chinese, traveled across their countries and the world to visit their families. This acts as a catalyst for the disease to expand.
Getty Image – Stringer/Anadolu Agency
Even though Chicago has only two infected cases, there are ways we should know to keep ourselves from this disease. The first thing is wash your hands probably after touching wild animals or interacting with people with nCoV symptoms. The second thing is if you sneeze or cough, remember to cover it and wear a mask. The last thing is if you find yourself with nCoV symptoms, you should visit your nearest hospital and avoid direct contact to lower the risk of spreading the illness.