The Coronavirus Outbreak


Oliver Jamias, Contributor

In late December, an unknown strand of Corona virus was spotted in Wuhan City, a city located in central China.  Over the course of less than a month, the virus has spread to numerous other countries, such as the U.S., France, and Australia.

The virus originated in Wuhan, and its growth was aided by various factors.  First of all, Wuhan is the most populated city in central China, easily allowing the virus to spread to other parts of China thanks to the population density.  The virus also shows various traits with the common cold such as incubation time and symptoms.  This can cause more spread if a person infected with Corona virus does not attempt to treat it immediately.  The virus also came around at the same time as when the Chinese New Year started and people started travelling to China, allowing it to spread overseas.

The virus managed to spread to many different countries worldwide in the span of only a few weeks.  The countries surrounding China, such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, all have confirmed cases of Corona virus.  In France, there are at least 2 confirmed cases, with one being in Paris.  In Scotland, Canada, and Australia, people who have recently visited Wuhan underwent investigation for the virus.  In the U.S., as of January 27, there have been at least 5 confirmed cases.  One person in Washington was discovered to be infected with the Corona virus.  Another person was found in Illinois before being brought to the hospital to stop the infection.  In California, Orange County and Los Angeles County both had an infected person come in, but both were promptly treated.  In Maricopa County, Arizona, a man was put on house arrest to keep the virus from spreading.

Precautions have been made in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.  Chinese health officials discouraged unneeded traveling to China during the outbreak.  Many airports and seaports have also been closed to prevent the virus from traveling as much as possible.  Despite being an important tradition in China, many large cities in the country have canceled any large New Years celebrations, as well as large public gatherings in general.

The social effects of the virus have been apparent.  As of January 27, 106 people in China have died from Corona virus.  Businesses depending on tourism with China have suffered from the virus’s influence by losing money from the lack of tourism.  The Corona virus outbreak also worsened the public’s opinion of China’s health system.  The main criticism was how unprepared China was for large-scale infection, despite how large the country is.  According to Yanzhong Huang, one of the officials in charge of global health at the Council of Foreign Relations, China did invest in disease treatment, but that was not enough for something as large as the current Corona virus epidemic.

Ultimately, Corona virus is not as deadly as the public makes it out to be, being on the same level as the Flu.  However, people should still be careful not to get infected, as it spreads quickly with the right conditions.