A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Coronavirus outbreak sparks concern throughout the world

As the new year started so did a virus that is now infamously known as the Coronavirus. This virus broke out in China but has since been sighted in every continent on the planet except Antartica.

At the time of publication, over 2,700 people have died due to the coronavirus. The virus is suspected to begun in animal-based food, such as seafood and meat from the meat market. People who had contact with these animals would get the virus, and it would spread from person to person. The virus has started spreading to other countries through the people who are traveling and carrying the virus with them. 

What’s happening in China specifically?

Central China has been put on a standstill due to the spread of the virus. In the Wuchang hospital, a total of eight front-line health workers including Liu Zhiming the director of the hospital have passed away due to the virus. As many as 3,000 cases have been confirmed to have the coronavirus. It has been predicted by a Chinese pulmonologist that the numbers of plague victims have increased instead of dropping. On the morning of Feb. 18, 1,874 people died due to the coronavirus. More than 25,000 medical workers were dispatched to Hubie on Feb. 14. All of the best medical workers are needed to help treat the virus and prevent it from spreading any more than it has.

What are the symptoms?

So far, 82 percent of the cases of the coronavirus, including the 14 in the United States, all have been mild conditions. The more that the virus is being discovered, the clearer the symptoms and characteristics have become. The symptoms can start to show from two to 14 days after being exposed. The symptoms include coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. The virus can become deadly if it leads to pneumonia, respiratory failure, or septic shock.

How is this affecting the U.S.?

Healthier young adults are not at-risk of getting the virus as severely as elders or children. At the time of publication, 57 people from the US had gotten the virus due to traveling, two of who are spouses who had come in contact with their infected loved one.  On Feb. 26, President Trump held a press conference to address the spread of the virus, making a number of claims that the virus will die out in the springtime as the temperatures rise and comparing the Coronavirus to the common flu. Read more here for The Washington Post‘s fact-checking of his speech.  

How to prevent getting the virus?

The easy and preventable way to not get the virus is to wash your hands with soap and water. Also, if you are sick, you should cough and sneeze in your elbow area to prevent spreading germs. If it is suspected that someone is sick, it is best to avoid contact. With unwashed hands, you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.