Coronavirus : The Newest Global Pandemic

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Olivia Janek, Reporter

The Roaring Twenties are back, and with it comes many things. Flappers, cool cars, massive technological advances, and… another plague? Following a strange pattern of the Yellow Fever in 1820 and the Spanish Influenza in 1920, and the way recent global events seem to be turning out, the emergence of a new pandemic seems quite plausible. The growing coronavirus is an upper respiratory disease currently affecting Wuhan China, now quarantined to prevent the spread of the disease even further. There are confirmed cases in America, all being monitored, with the first human-to-human contact in Illinois. As of the end of February, there have been an estimated 84,000 cases worldwide, and 2,000 deaths.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the coronavirus has similar symptoms to a cold or flu, including a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and a general feeling of being unwell. Many people get a coronavirus at least once in their lives, however, the 2019 ncov is the specific sort of virus that’s sweeping across China. Overtaking SARS, ncov (Novel Coronavirus) is an animal transmitted virus, similar to salmonella or tetanus. The period of incubation can be anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure, meaning that it can transmit easily through air travel. This added to the coronavirus scare due to the fact that it broke out around the same time as Chinese New Year, when many people from all over the world travel back and forth from China to visit family.
“I really didn’t know how to react, because I know that they haven’t found any cases in Texas yet. I know in China, for students in America who are visiting, they have to get tested before they can come home,” said Akira Nevea (10).
Coronavirus spreads through animal contact, often in many different species of animals. For the current epidemic, the virus spread from bats to humans, and is now being transmitted through human saliva and other bodily fluids, often when someone sneezes or coughs. To protect against coronavirus, it’s critical to clean surfaces and keep away from sick people. However, the virus can only remain on a surface for an hour, meaning there’s no need to worry about packages arriving from China. But due to its long incubation time, coronavirus can easily spread without any symptoms being present. It would be best to be careful around anyone who recently returned from China, and not travel there for the time being.
“My parents are currently visiting, and I already bought tickets to go,” said Algebra teacher Julie Wu. “But because of the epidemic, I had to cancel the tickets.”
Currently, there is no vaccine for coronavirus, so it is best to prevent it before it can happen. The best way to do so is to wash hands with warm water for 20 seconds, staying home when sick, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and often clean and disinfect surfaces around the home. The CDC offers a specific set of guidelines for travellers, and encourages those possibly infected to go to hospitals for their symptoms to be monitored. Again, it is critical to prevent the disease, as a vaccine currently does not exist. With enough caution, healthy behavior, and attention to the news, it is likely that the disease will pass quickly, and a vaccine will be created.