If you Google searched the coronavirus, one of the first results would pop up with an SOS alert, but is it really?
*Note: Statistics are based on time of article’s writing.
According to the New York Times, 490 people have died and 24,324 are considered infected in China alone. However, only 11 cases are confirmed in the US and one of the previous cases was located at Miami University.
The coronavirus has been more common in countries like China with 44,688 cases, and Japan, which has 203 cases. Also, in Singapore, there are only 50 cases and in Thailand only 33 cases. Americans who were traveling to China have been evacuated from the country as President Trump is committed to helping stop the outbreak, according to the New York Times. However recently, there was an American citizen who died from the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China.
Still, the disease’s death rate is only 2%. According to worldometers.info presently, 4,865 people have recovered from the coronavirus but only 8,216 are in critical condition.
So what exactly is the Coronavirus? It is a respiratory virus that can be transmitted from animals to people. The symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. There are currently seven different types of the coronavirus yet one type, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, is the form that is currently spreading.
Most coronaviruses can be treated, and those who are at risk for severe treatment can include the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
But there are steps that can be taken to help prevent the Coronavirus like we can prevent the flu or other illnesses. Washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding people who are sick are just a few of the ways to stem the likeliness you’ll be infected. On top of that, several different vaccines and medicines for this virus are in the process of being developed.
Likewise, the U.S. is taking precautions to prevent what would be an unlikely outbreak. Airlines have canceled flights to China and if a person traveled to the Hubei province in the past two weeks, they could potentially be subject to mandatory quarantine.
Another way the U.S. has taken precautions is by screening U.S. citizens that have been to other parts of China in the past two weeks will be screened at select airports and will also be in quarantine. The U.S. has also issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for China, meaning that there should not be any kind of travel allowed to and from China.
Dr. Johnson, President of Sinclair, held a town hall on Tuesday, Feb. 4. discussing the Coronavirus and the guidance that Ohio Colleges have received. He ensured that Sinclair will be prepared and has assembled a team to review and revise the current protocols, should there ever be an outbreak.
That being said, many Americans do not realize that there is a flu outbreak happening as well. There has been an estimate of 12,000-30,000 deaths alone with the flu, between 22 and 31 million people have been diagnosed with it and 210,000-370,000 people have been hospitalized between October 1st, 2019-February 1st, 2020, according to an estimate from the CDC.
“I think what makes the Coronavirus outbreak newsworthy is that it is an example of how viruses evolve,” said Dr. Erica Mersfelder, Assistant Professor of Biology at Sinclair. “Emerging viruses scare people because we usually don’t know much about their severity or mode of transmission in the beginning,”
The Coronavirus is not something people in the United States should be too alarmed about at this time as the flu is riskier than the Coronavirus is. Dr. Mersfelder’s advice is that students should receive a flu shot every year, stay home when they are sick and wash their hands frequently.