Coronavirus is spreading rapidly, causing international concerns


credited to Pxhere

Coronavirus, starting in Wuhan, China, has spread to America, worrying millions of people.

Jenna Q., Writer

Coronavirus, a large family of viruses that cause a diverse range of respiratory illnesses, has taken the lives of at least 132 Chinese citizens as of January 29. Its rapid spreadability has put many people around the world in a state of distress. 

The epicenter of the epidemic appears to be in Wuhan, China. As a result, China expanded its lockdown, trapping about 50 million people. The virus has infected over 4,500 people in mainland China, causing the public to suspect that this may turn into the next SARS epidemic, or worse, the plague.

Because the disease originated in animals, scientists believe the virus was most likely transmitted through people who ate or interacted with infected wildlife.

At least five American citizens are fighting the relentless sickness. With two cases in southern California, one in Illinois, a case in Washington, and a case in Arizona, the infection is spreading. Upon discovering the sickness, doctors immediately quarantined those who’d been diagnosed with the virus. With more than 2,000 people being investigated across America, the coronavirus could become a grave issue. 

“It could be a threat because there is no cure to it, and it’s spreading very fast,” Ashlin W. said, “You don’t get the symptoms until two to fourteen days after being exposed to the virus, so you can spread it without knowing you have it.”

Coronavirus is transmitted similarly to a common-cold, by someone’s cough or sneeze. It can also be spread through physical contact.

According to health authorities, symptoms include a fever, cough, runny nose, or difficulty breathing. In some cases, the latter has been so severe that people would collapse in the middle of the street. Coronaviruses can range in severity from a cold to a lethal case of pneumonia.

There is no specific cure or vaccine for the virus, so symptoms are treated individually. Because the signs are similar to the common cold and flu, people are flooding hospitals “just to be sure.” In fact, hospitals are so full that Wuhan is building new hospitals as quickly as possible, one being built in only six days.

When asked how to distinguish coronavirus from the common cold, Dr. Amber Farooqui, virologist and immunologist, said, “On the basis of symptoms, you can’t differentiate them. There is no way that you can find out through your symptoms what kind of infection you are having. There are a number of viruses that can cause these symptoms.”

Nonetheless, there are a few ways to prevent infection. 

“Right now, people in western countries with little cases should pay attention to hand washing and sneezing in public. If anybody is sneezing or coughing, we should try to maintain some distance,” said Dr. Farooqui.

Coronavirus risks turning into an epidemic. With its prompt spreading, people have a valid reason to be concerned.