Coronavirus: Outbreak Causes Mass Hysteria

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STATISTA

Countries where coronavirus has been detected.

Samantha Moilanen, editor

 

Is this infectious virus as deadly as it seems? With 131 dead and 5,000 people infected, the coronavirus is causing mass hysteria across the continents.

The coronavirus is an infection in the upper respiratory system typically causing many symptoms related to the common cold. It is carried in animals and transferred to humans through coughing, sneezing, or touching a surface where the virus is present. Although, only in very severe cases can it be known to cause bronchitis or even pneumonia. Even then, it is only deadly to those with a weakened immune system or the elderly. The primary symptoms of the virus include a headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and a general feeling of being unwell. Although, in the worst cases it can cause shortness of breath, fever, chest pain, and cough with mucus, all of which are not deadly to the average person.

“The coronavirus scares me because it might spread worldwide and statistics say it can potentially kill 67 million people so it should be taken very seriously. It also spreads rapidly and easily so no one is safe from infection,” said senior Kerry Grogan.

So why is this virus causing so much fear? This new strain of the coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, was first detected in Wuhan, China in a seafood market. While many researchers believe this virus may have been caused by bats and snakes, both of which are a delicacy in China, the primary animal source has not yet been detected according to The Telegraph. Although the direct source is still unclear, the virus is believed to have broken out between December 12-29th and has been rapidly spreading ever since. The death toll is now above 3% and has caused Beijing to quarantine the majority of its population. Even though the virus is primarily contained in China, The Telegraph states it has spread internationally with five confirmed cases in the United States, and more in France, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau, Japan, and the Philippines. 

“I think the coronavirus should be taken seriously, and it poses many risks. I know China and the US are taking severe measures to contain the virus and stop it from spreading, but if it is growing and infecting people as quickly as they say, we should have everyone working to contain it as soon as possible,” said senior Adrian Vazquez.

AFP
Symptoms of coronavirus.

What can be done to prevent the virus? While a vaccine is still being developed, there are many simple ways to prevent this destructive virus. According to an article from the New York Times, this virus can easily be prevented by frequently washing your hands and adopting sanitary habits such as resisting the urge to touch your face and keeping a clean workspace. The Times reports, the coronavirus’s previous outbreaks, SARS and Mers, were both other versions of the severe respiratory syndrome. With the information gained from these outbreaks in the early 2000s, medical professionals are now equipped with enough information to create a vaccine and terminate the spread of this deadly infection. 

This virus is certainly deadly and spreading rapidly, but as long as people continue to adopt healthy and sanitary lifestyle habits, the virus’s widespread negative impact will soon be put to an end.