Corona from Far
By Zach Jutras-Ouellette
The coronavirus (COVID-19) which originated in Wuhan, China has rapidly spread. According to The New York Times, as of March 6, the number of cases is approaching 100 000 globally. According to the World Health Organization, more than 3,200 deaths have been registered.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, warned that time could be running out and that “Now is the time to act.”
The government of Canada confirmed 27 cases: 18 in Ontario, 8 in British Columbia and 1 in Quebec.
According to WHO, “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
The most common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulties breathing. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
In order to prevent infection, regularly washing hands, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing are important.
Quarantine is being held in many cities all around the world. Public transportation has been halted. Trains and buses can’t leave or enter the city. Planes at the airport aren’t allowed to take off. 22 cases have been reported in New York and 2773 people are under quarantine.
Yun Shan Nong, a Dawson student, is from Yunnan, a village in the southern part of China. Her family is being precautious. WHO has reported a total of 174 cases in Yunnan, which has a small population of 4830. She and her family talk about the coronavirus almost daily. She says one of her family members is a doctor who gives them information on the virus. “She knows the disease is affecting a lot of people and she sends us a lot of messages about that, about how to keep safe,” Nong says.
The Coronavirus poses a threat to the older population and those with weak immune systems. The virus can severely affect vital organs. Doctors and researchers say the disease is contagious from physical contact, and if you inhale the droplets from an infected cough.
Still, some political leaders around the world seemed more interested in pointing fingers at one another and complaining about travel restrictions rather than looking for a solution. Faced with the threat of the Coronavirus, we should work together.