11 million people on lockdown and many more travel-restricted as coronavirus declared public health emergency

Isabella Cordell, Director of Communications

With over 10,000 reported cases in China alone and a death toll in the two hundreds, the coronavirus is a threat to worldwide health. 

As the virus has spread, so have fears about the potentially deadly pandemic, especially in the United States. On top of fear, there is also interest in prevention and curiosity about the coronavirus’s origins. 

Here is an information sheet on the major numerical facts of the coronavirus outbreak. Credit: Isabella Cordell

Although officials originally believed that the source of the illness was from an animal market in Wuhan, there is new understanding that the spread is simply caused by contact “from person to person”.

In fact, it’s “likely that coughs or sneezes from an infected person may spread the virus”.

Due to this, there have been many precautions taken by cities, governments, and airports alike. 

For instance, there is a lockdown in the city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated. Also, countries, like the United States and Australia, have drastically limited entry from China. 

Nevertheless, there are still seven reported cases of the coronavirus within the United States alone, according to the CDC. Moreover, the United States has declared a “Public Health Emergency” due to the coronavirus situation both domestically and abroad

Yet, the domestic coronavirus cases reported are of individuals that have since been isolated and pose little risk to others around them as a result of quick medical attention

The condition begins with relatively mild symptoms followed by increasingly severe, almost pneumonia-like symptoms. Coronavirus patients encountered symptoms including “fever, cough, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and runny nose” through the duration of their illness

Most concerning, the coronavirus can be spread prior to when symptoms become apparent.

Once a bustling commercial city, Wuhan is now in a state of lockdown, which is intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown is intended to go on indefinitely with 11 million residents affected. Credit: Yohann Agnelot, Flickr

The CDC still recommends no “nonessential” traveling to China and travelers entering the U.S. from China must undergo screening procedures

While there are many uncertainties about the virus, there has unfortunately been an increase in both anti-Asian sentiment as well as fears of the coronavirus’s spread in the United States.

However, the coronavirus only has a death rate of “less than 3 percent”. While this statistic is still relatively high (the flu has a death rate of .13 percent, for instance), it is evidence that even if one does get the coronavirus, there is a relatively high chance of survival.

The coronavirus is likely spread through human contact, sneezing, and coughing. The CDC and WHO recommended regularly washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, and being cautious if sick or around people who are sick. Credit: Flickr

For now, as an alternative to worrying about the coronavirus, scientists and health experts suggest to simply focus on more easily preventable and more common illnesses, like the cold or the flu, by getting vaccines and maintaining proper hygiene. 

In addition, because there isn’t a coronavirus vaccine, the major public health concern should be eradicating measles in metro Atlanta by receiving and encouraging proper vaccination

For more information concerning the coronavirus, as well as updates on the coronavirus’s movement, click here. To share your opinion, click here.