Chinese Coronavirus Rages On
February 10, 2020
A new strain of the coronavirus that gained international attention after killing more than 50 people has been continuing to spread to other countries and infect people at an extremely rapid rate. As of January 27th, 2020, the Chinese coronavirus (also known as 2019-nCoV) has killed at least 300 people, all of which (except one from the Philippines) were from China. More than 14,000 others in more than a dozen different countries from all over the world have been confirmed to have the virus, with eight originating in the United States and three in California specifically. All of the confirmed cases either originate in or around Wuhan, China or are of people that have recently traveled to Wuhan. It is supposed that the virus originated from the Huanan market, where it was first transferred from an animal to a person. Known for its sale of exotic wildlife, the market is towards the center of Wuhan, China, a city with nearly 11 million people positioned in the Hubei province.
The market, which was closed on January 1st, 2020, right after the first scare of the virus, is positioned about a half of a mile away from a large train station connecting Wuhan to the rest of China. Wuhan is a key transport hub for goods to move through China’s interior waterways to the coast, as well as north-south commercial traffic. Several other cases have also been confirmed in nearby densely-populated cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
In an effort to limit the spread of the disease, Chinese officials canceled many public celebrations of the Lunar New Year (which began on Saturday, January 25th). Countries all over the world have also been extremely careful with the checking of travelers coming out of the area, with the T.S.A carefully screening passengers returning from flights out of Wuhan as well as going back to check what other people have recently returned from the city (as of January 17th). Additionally, cities encompassing at least 60 million people have made efforts to restrict travel in and out of the cities. Shanghai Disney Resort has also temporarily closed its doors in order to “control the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of its guests and staff”. Turkey became the first country to warn its citizens not to travel to China on the 27th of January.
People can spread the virus before it shows its symptoms, which makes it harder to contain. Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged the virus as a grave situation. The patient of the virus in Orange County, California, is reportedly in good condition and is isolated at an area hospital. A patient is a man in his 50s that recently returned from Wuhan through Los Angeles International Airport. It has not been confirmed whether or not he returned before screenings started. The other confirmed case in California is in Los Angeles County. Cases have also been confirmed in Arizona, Illinois, and Washington State.