Over the last few weeks, there has been a viral health outbreak causing concerns around the world. If you know what I’m talking about, that would be the coronavirus epidemic. Is the coronavirus contagious? Well, that depends based on where you live and your age. But there’s no doubt that if exposed to the virus, anyone can get ill from it.
The coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, is a severe respiratory illness that first developed out in China. They have reported it may have come about from an animal source (specifically the fish market), and it quickly spread to humans. There have a dozen cases reported in China, with some in other countries, including the United States. Although it is legit and concerning, I think it’s over-hyped based on how the media reports it. In this post, I will discuss the following points:
1.) The symptoms of 2019-nCoV
2.) Similar cases: SARS and the Swine Flu
3.) The numbers so far (as of February 5, 2020)
4.) Is it over-hyped? My thoughts on the coronavirus
Coronavirus contagious: 2019-nCoV symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC has reported patients experiencing pneumonia in their lungs. These symptoms can appear between two days to fourteen days. Similar to past outbreaks, people exposed to others with these symptoms are at great risk.
Coronavirus contagious: Steps taken to address the outbreak
The World Health Organization (WHO) and governments have taken steps to address the epidemic. At the end of January 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus as a “public health emergency of international concern.” The US government has taken similar steps to maintain a public emergency. Now that there have been several cases of 2019-nCoV in the US, it’s getting more attention as the outbreak grows.
Coronavirus contagious: Similar case (SARS)
There has been a similar outbreak to the coronavirus. The best-related one is SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome. In China, SARS affected around 8000 plus individuals, with approximately 774 deaths reported between 2002-2003. The SARS fatality rate has a 9.6% rate, compared to the 2.1% rate for the coronavirus. Although the coronavirus is not as severe as SARS, that could change.
Coronavirus contagious: Other cases (Swine Flu & MERS)
Not only was SARS a significant outbreak in China, but other health epidemics included the Swine Flu. The Swine Flu (H1N1 influenza) broke out in 2009, and there were multiple cases reported in the US. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) started in Saudi Arabia back in 2012. Some examples have been here and there within the last several years.
Coronavirus contagious: Current Numbers (As of February 6, 2020)
As mentioned earlier, the coronavirus initially came from China (specifically in Wuhan, Hubei Province). To the current date, there have been around 500 deaths reported in the province. About close to 25,000 pending cases have been reported, but the majority have been in the Hubei Province. So it’s spreading, but not big enough that it has infected the entire world.
Coronavirus contagious: Current Numbers
Where it is now, there have been a dozen cases reported in the US. But the circumstances haven’t worsened as the current situation may be in China. It’s one reason the US government has declared it a public health emergency. Though it may be like similar outbreaks such as the Swine flu, it remains whether it will grow and become a worse health pandemic.
Is the coverage of coronavirus over-hyped?
In the last few weeks, the coronavirus has received a lot of attention in the news. It’s like a panic that needs we need to recognize, but that moment hasn’t come up yet (at least in the US). It’s one reason it spooked the financial markets out about it. But the market dropping probably had more to do than this severe health issue. (That explanation is for another post)
When I first heard about the coronavirus, I knew it wasn’t right. The symptoms are severe, and the numbers shouldn’t be ignored. I may be concerned, but I think it’s all hype. The media these days take stories such as this one out of context and turn into more fear-mongering sometimes. The only people who benefit are the ones who work in government and the media. Their ultimate goals are to control people, gain more power, and make money. In these cases, some will successfully benefit at the expense of others.
Overall, the coronavirus is a legitimate health concern globally. It’s contagious if surrounded by others who experience the symptoms. But similar to the Swine Flu, I don’t think it will turn out as a massive health epidemic. Most people won’t die, and it’s not the end of the world. The number of cases may go up, but I think they’ll dwindle as we’ve seen with previous health outbreaks.
The main point is to not trust the media or people in power with health scares. As I mentioned earlier, their goals are control and power. If you’ve been in contact with somebody, or experience symptoms of this virus, take precaution and seek immediate medical advice.
What do you think of the coronavirus? Do you agree that the news coverage is over-hyped and not worth it?
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