An apparent outbreak of an unknown strain of the coronavirus began spreading through Wuhan, China in December 2019.
What is Coronavirus?
According to the WHO, coronaviruses (CoV) belong to a large family of viruses that are most common among animals, but sometimes they can be transmitted between animals and humans. Those coronaviruses which can be passed from animals to humans and then from humans to humans can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases.
The CDC has found a link between the current outbreak and a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China. This suggests an animal-to-human spread. However, a growing number of patients who have not had exposure to animal markets are getting ill. This means there may be a possible person-to-person spread of the disease.
Common signs of infection for coronaviruses include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can result in pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The WHO recommends standard practices to prevent infection spread including regular hand washing and covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. As always, avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness.
Since December more than 300 people have been infected with this strain of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and at least six people have died. Since then, government agencies have swiftly taken action. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are screening all passengers on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China traveling into multiple US hubs. The World Health Organization (WHO) is meeting on Thursday to reevaluate whether or not this outbreak should be considered a public health emergency of international concern.
As per, NBC News, the first US case of 2019-nCoV was found in Seattle, Washington. The patient, a man in his 30s, arrived in the US around January 15 after visiting Wuhan, China. The patient is reported to be in good condition.
A second case of coronavirus was confirmed in Chicago. The woman, a Chicago resident in her 60s, had recently traveled to Wuhan China. She is hospitalized and said to be doing well.
A third case of the new coronavirus in the U.S. has been diagnosed in Orange County, California. The CDC confirmed the case in a traveler from Wuhan, China.
The two other US cases remain hospitalized, but are said to be doing well.
The CDC is conducting entry screening of passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan, China to five airport hubs: Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles, (LAX) New York city (JFK), and San Francisco (SFO).
The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency.
While most of the confirmed cases are in China, 98 people have been diagnosed in 18 other countries. The CDC announced a sixth confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the United States.
The United States has raised its travel advisory, warning citizens to not travel to China.
Guidelines mandated that the name of the disease could not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people. It also needed to relate to the disease and be pronounceable. The name COVID-19 will help guard against the use of other names that might be inaccurate or stigmatizing.
More than 400 experts and funders met at WHO’s Geneva HQ to accelerate research to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.
WHO has shipped supplies of personal protective equipment to 21 countries.
CDC officials say that a California patient being treated for novel coronavirus is the first US case of unknown origin. The patient, who didn’t have any relevant travel history nor exposure to another known patient, is the first possible US case of “community spread.”
A state health official announces that a patient infected with the novel coronavirus in Washington state has died, marking the first death due to the virus in the United States.
There are more than 220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US according to a dashboard run by Johns Hopkins University. The worldwide count of confirmed cases is over 97,800, with a global death toll of 3,348.
The CDC has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN).
According to the WHO, there are more than 100,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in 100 countries. Of the 80,000 reported cases in China, more than 70% have recovered and been discharged. As shown, with early action the virus can be slowed down, preventing further spread. Among those who are infected, most will recover.
Some school districts, colleges and universities are closing and turning to virtual classrooms. Large gatherings and sporting events may be impacted as the Coronavirus spreads.
There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.
The WHO has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
A new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Solidarity Response Fund will raise money from a wide range of donors to support the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency.
The WHO has shipped almost 1.5 million tests to 120 countries. They advise that all confirmed cases, even mild cases, should be isolated in health facilities, to prevent transmission and provide adequate care. People infected with COVID-19 can still infect others after they stop feeling sick, so these measures should continue for at least two weeks after symptoms disappear.
During a press briefing on COVID-19, UN Secretary-General António Guterres asked world leaders to come together and offer an urgent and coordinated global response.
As of today, the WHO reports that there are 372,757 confirmed cases, 16,231 confirmed deaths and 195 countries, areas or territories with cases/
According to the CDC, all 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19.
U.S. COVID-19 cases include, imported cases in travelers, cases among close contacts of a known case and community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown.
Most U.S. states are reporting some community spread of COVID-19.
The WHO is providing advice to help you and your family be healthy at home.
The WHO has joined forces with FIFA to launch the #BeActive campaign on the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace to encourage people to be #HealthyAtHome.
They also issued updated guidance on masks. The CDC is recommending the use of a cloth face covering to keep people who are infected but do not have symptoms from spreading COVID-19 to others.
The White House “Slow the Spread” guidelines are in place until Apr.30. These are part of a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 through the implementation of social distancing at all levels of society.