Coronavirus: new disease or history repeating itself?

Train+passengers+in+Wuhan+stand+in+line+to+have+their+temperatures+checked+prior+to+boarding

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Train passengers in Wuhan stand in line to have their temperatures checked prior to boarding

Sarah Nerwinski, The Delphi Editor

The Wuhan Coronavirus has infected 2,700+ people in China, and 80 of those infected have perished. 

The virus seems to have originated in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China. The Wholesale market is now closed due to the outbreak of the virus. Wuhan, China has been affected the worst when compared to other countries with confirmed cases, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, and even the United States. 

Patient 0 was a 61-year-old male in Wuhan who presented abdominal tumors and chronic liver disease, and the second case was a 69-year-old male who had no prior medical issues but arrived at the hospital with severe damage to multiple organs. 

Coronavirus is not one, but two types of classified virus. It is a type of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and it is highly contagious. There is no effective treatment for this virus other than medical care by a professional. Both types of viruses have similar symptoms, which makes it a “double threat.” 

Symptoms of the Coronavirus are as follows: pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and in some cases, death. The virus may also display flu-like symptoms. The transmission is even simpler as the virus is both airborne and transmittable by physical contact.  It can be passed through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after touching a contaminated object, and in very rare conditions, through fecal contamination.

Pullquote Photo

We have it totally under control, it’s one person coming in from China. And we have it all under control, it’s going to be just fine.”

— President Trump

The virus has recently made its way across the Pacific Ocean to the U.S. and the President is aware of the danger that this virus poses to American citizens. “We have it totally under control, it’s one person coming in from China. And we have it all under control, it’s going to be just fine.” President Trump said.

However, outside of the States, in the epicenter of the disease, one intensive care nurse named Jaing We has a different perspective. “I always say to others it’s okay, as we are well-protected. Actually, I was just saying that to keep them calm. We are actually afraid and worried. But, as long as we are here, our intensive duty will help us to do the job,” We said. Citizens are scared for their lives as the ever-evolving virus is feared to be spreading like wildfire. 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license
Citizens of Hong Kong wear masks to protect themselves from the Coronavirus.

Wuhan is now on lockdown as the virus spreads, as well as several other Chinese cities. Nearly 60 million people have been affected by the lockdowns in China. Several train stations have been closed for the time being, and citizens can see Chinese SWAT teams surrounding these stations, and many airports are giving out cancelation fee waivers to passengers planning to visit China. Citizens don’t leave their house unless they are wearing surgical face masks to prevent the disease from spreading, and most non-government-run facilities are also closed. Chinese New Year celebrations are also being postponed from January 30th to February 2nd.

I always say to others it’s okay, as we are well-protected. Actually, I was just saying that to keep them calm. We are actually afraid and worried. But, as long as we are here, our intensive duty will help us to do the job”

— Jiang We

This epidemic seems to be quite similar to other viruses the world  like the swine flu (H1N1), ebola, and even closely, the Bubonic plague (the black plague). In 2019, the black plague returned to Beijing and Mongolia, and in 2018, a child in Iowa contracted the disease. There is a misconception that the Bubonic plague had died out, but that is never the case. Viruses never “die out” because they are not living organisms. However, they do need a living organism to stay alive for a certain amount of time. According to BBC Science Focus, instead of dying, viruses become dormant. These dormant diseases can then be triggered by a different virus.

Be advised when ordering items that are coming in from China, as the virus may be spread through transportation as well. Although it is unlikely one would catch the virus through the delivery of an online purchase, being that the virus can only stay alive on a non-living organism for 24 hours, it is certainly important to be aware of the symptoms of the virus and to be cautious should you present any symptoms.

The Coronavirus is dangerous, but it can be prevented with proper hygiene and awareness of one’s symptoms.  Be safe, and let’s hope for a speedy end to this deadly disease.