Friday, January 24, 2020

Quick Facts about the Wuhan Coronavirus

By Timothy Gamble  

This article reflects several updates as of 9pm on January 25.
As of January 25, 2020, there are an estimated 9,700+ cases of Wuhan Coronavirus worldwide, with 56 official deaths. The actual numbers may be higher, as virtually all epidemiology experts agree China is severely under-reporting its figures. Most confirmed cases are still in China, particularly the region in and around Wuhan. There are also confirmed cases in Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, France, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, and the United States. 

>>> Both the US and Russia have announced plans to evacuate their citizens from the affected areas in China. It is estimated that about 1,000 US citizens are trapped in Wuhan and other restricted areas. 

Note: Statistics are based on a variety of sources, including the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and reporting by Radio Free Asia, among others.  

Here are some quick facts about the Wuhan Coronavirus:

1- The Wuhan Coronavirus, officially designated as 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization (WHO), first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December of 2019.

2- The Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak first emerged among workers and customers of the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.

3- Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause respiratory infections in humans. 

4- In addition to respiratory problems, Coronavirus symptoms may also include runny nose, headache, fever, sore throat, and a general feeling of fatigue and unwellness.

5-  Reported symptoms of the Wuhan Coronavirus:
  •       Fever (90%+ of cases)
  •       Fatigue combined with a dry cough (80%) 
  •       Shortness of breath, other respiratory problems (20%) 

6- The Wuhan Coronavirus has been compared to SARS, a different Coronavirus that first emerged in Asia in 2003. Both viruses enter human cells in a similar way, using angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor.

7- Coronaviruses, including the Wuhan Coronavirus, are NOT related to flu viruses, and flu vaccines do not offer any protection against Coronavirus.

8- There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs currently approved for the prevention or treatment of Coronavirus, including the Wuhan Coronavirus. 

9- Coronavirus, including the Wunan Coronavirus, can be spread person-to-person, or through contaminated food or surfaces.  

10- The CDC gives the following general advice for protecting against Coronaviruses:
  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid contact with thse who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces (click link for disinfectants page on Amazon). 
  • If you are sick, avoid contact with others.
  • Stay home when sick and for two days after symptoms stop.
11- Naturally, try to avoid contact with infected people, if at all possible. International travel should be avoided if possible, and do not travel to or from quarantined (locked-down) areas. 

12- China has placed at least 18 cities and areas under quarantine or lock-down, including Wuhan, Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi and Zhijiang. This represents approximately 56 million people under lock-down. The list of restricted areas is expanding rapidly, so travellers to China should check the status of localities they are planning to visit. Many public celebrations of the Chinese New Year have been cancelled.

13- From Wikipedia: "Since the city of Wuhan has been closed down, residents are scrambling to nearby stores to stockpile on essential goods. There have been numerous reports of long lines at supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations — residents are flocking to gas stations because of a false rumour about fuel reserves running out. Following the quarantine, prices of goods have significantly increased in Wuhan." 

14- In the United States, there have been various news reports of medical facemasks selling out fast on Amazon and at retailers around the country. My local Wal-mart was sold out as of 1:30pm on January 23. Some facemasks may still be available on Amazon, or are expected to be resupplied within about a week.

NOTE:  This is a current ongoing event, therefore the information presented here may change quickly as the event continues to unfold. This article will be occasionally be updated to reflect the latest information.

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