There have been hundreds of people who have been sickened with pneumonia-like symptoms in China from the coronavirus, but the scary disease has now made its way to the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of the mysterious coronavirus in the U.S. on Tuesday.
The coronavirus, which is also known as the “2019 Novel Coronavirus” or the “2019-nCoV,” was first detected last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the Hubei province. The first strain of the coronavirus is believed to have come from a live animal market that sold seafood, poultry, bats, and marmots.
Wuhan’s mayor has asked residents to not leave the city to try to prevent the spread of the virus. Since the virus was first discovered, the disease has killed at least six people.
Initially, researchers believed that the coronavirus could only be spread from animal to human. However, new evidence shows that the coronavirus can be spread from one human to another human.
A victim of the coronavirus in Wuhan was taken to a hospital where they infected 14 healthcare workers. With the new development of coronavirus being capable of human-to-human transmission, this means that the coronavirus has the potential to spread easily. This has scientists worrying that the coronavirus could be a new epidemic like the ones over the past few years such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which had an outbreak in 2012 that caused over 400 deaths, and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus), which killed nearly 800 people during a 2003 outbreak.
The respiratory disease has spread to more than 300 people, but there are some estimates that it has infected as many as 4,500. Coronavirus has spread to other areas in China, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and the Guangdong province. Coronavirus has had international cases in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and, most recently, the United States.
The CDC announced on Tuesday that the first documented case of coronavirus in the United States.
“The patient from Washington with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection returned to the United States from Wuhan on January 15, 2020,” the CDC press release read. “The patient sought care at a medical facility in the state of Washington, where the patient was treated for the illness.”
“Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, healthcare professionals suspected this new coronavirus,” the statement continued. “A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC overnight, where laboratory testing yesterday confirmed the diagnosis via CDC’s Real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test.”
The victim returned home to Washington state on January 15 after a trip to Wuhan. Then on January 19, the infected man was admitted to the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, and is isolated from other patients.
Officials in the United States were worried that the disease would spread to the country through airline passengers from China as early as last week. On January 17, 2020, the CDC began screening airline passengers who arrived at San Francisco, JFK, and LAX airports. Since then, testing has started in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
The CDC said they “believe the risk of 2019-nCoV to the American public at large remains low at this time.” However, the CDC also cautions that the situation is “rapidly evolving.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) is so concerned about the dangers of the coronavirus that they will hold an emergency committee on Jan 22 to determine if action needs to be taken.
There is currently no vaccine or cure for the coronavirus.
Scientists need to give deadly diseases scary names like Zika, Syphilis, Ebola, Bubonic Plague. Coronavirus doesn’t really have the frightening moniker of a disease that has the potential to start a lethal epidemic.
Let’s hope that this is the worst coronavirus that happens to anyone.
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