The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently discussing whether an international health crisis should be proclaimed due to the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which began in Wuhan, China, but is rapidly spreading to other countries. A second case was reported this morning by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), following another case earlier this week. Concerned about coronavirus and what you need to know? Here’s some information from the WHO and CDC.
UPDATED Sunday, 1/26/20 12:00 pm: CNN reports, “The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the county, according to a statement from the department. It is the fourth confirmed case in the United States.” The fifth US case has just been reported in Maricopa, Arizona.
Per a statement released by the Los Angeles County Department of Health they are, “…working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local agencies to monitor this novel coronavirus that has emerged from Wuhan, China, over the past few weeks. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available,” the department said in a statement.
The cases of 2019-nCoV currently reported in the US are in Washington State, Chicago, Orange County, California and Los Angeles. Globally, 50 deaths have been reported.
UPDATED JANUARY 24, 8:30 am
- At least 50 people in 22 US states are being evaluated for symptoms possibly related to the virus.
- There are more than 830 confirmed cases of infection across the globe, and at least 26 people have died.
- A total of 8,420 people are reported to be under observation.
- One young man is reported to have died in Wuhan. This naturally raises concerns because most victims are older than 60.
China has instituted travel bans across the country, impacting more than 35 million people who were planning to participate in Lunar New Year celebrations. Authorities have canceled numerous events, including in Beijing, to avoid having large public gatherings where the airborne virus could spread.
What Are Coronaviruses?
The WHO defines Coronaviruses (CoV) as “a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).” The novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a “new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
Why the delineation about nCoV being identified in humans is important — coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they can be passed between animals and humans. There are several coronaviruses impacting animals that haven’t infected people.
Signs and Symptoms of 2019-nCoV
Initial signs of 2019-nCOv may present as an upper respiratory illness. Here are signs to be aware of:
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
- Infections leading to pneumonia
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Kidney failure
Regular handwashing is vital for the prevention of the coronavirus. Parentology has several articles addressing this topic that parents should read, including: Does Hand Sanitizer Cause Superbugs, 4 Simple Ways to Keep Germs Out of the Classroom, Petting Zoo Germ Safety and Robot Encourages Kids to Wash Their Hands.
Other protective measures to take include:
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness (coughing and sneezing).
- Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
WHO is not recommending travel or trade restrictions at this time. Currently, they are advising, “Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the International Health Regulations (2005).”
For more information:
- About the current outbreak in China, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html
- About Coronaviruses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
- For travel health information: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/pneumonia-china