The Coronavirus: Should We Be Worried?

Fears of a new epidemic of the coronavirus went across the world, sparking fear and attention from every corner of the planet in early 2020. This virus is as small as 26,000 to 32,000 base pairs of DNA.

A coronavirus specifies a series of viruses that primarily impact the respiratory system in multiple organisms ranging from birds to humans. Some types of coronaviruses are even the cause of the common cold. However, these are the general type of the coronavirus.

Since their discovery in the 1960s, attention from the public and the media was primarily shown at first with SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, being first recognized by the World Health Organization in February of 2003. According to the Centers for Disease Control, SARS spread to more than two dozen countries and there has not been any known cases in the world since 2004. There is also MERS, or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which has caused 858 deaths and 2,494 laboratory-confirmed cases as of November of 2019 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The specific Coronavirus that was recently discovered is COVID-2019, being officially named on February 11 of this year.  The origins of the virus is shown to be from bats, however it can be transferred to multiple animals. The origin of the transmission to humans is a link to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China. 

Within the United States, the cases of person to person contact has only been through American travelers from Wuhan, China. Currently, the virus is, “NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States,” according to the CDC.

The severity of the virus is unknown and varies across the patients that currently have the condition. Symptoms have differed from mild to reported cases of death. 

Foreign nationals are not allowed entry into the United States if the national has been to China in the past 2 weeks. And US Citizens and US Residents are placed within quarantine for 2 weeks if they have been in China. Only 7 states within the country currently have patients that have the virus: Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

Here in Colorado, 12 people have been tested as of February 19, and all have come back negative. There are none that are positive and none that are currently pending. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment stated that they are, “…Working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and organizations across the state to ensure our response is strong, proactive, and collaborative.” 

The chances of getting the coronavirus is unlikely here and the greatest risk is only when exposed to someone who has recently been to China or have been diagnosed with the COVID-19, according to the. Due to the recent discovery of the disease, information is still being discovered everyday and as work continues, the future is uncertain of updates on information and prevention.


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