Coronavirus: The New SARS?


Passengers wear protective face masks at the departure hall of the high speed train station in Hong Kong, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday, halting transportation and warning against public gatherings, to try to stop the spread of a deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Santiago Carbajal, Staff Writer

At the beginning of this year news broke of a new coronavirus emerging from Wuhan Province in northeastern China. Many people were infected in the region, but it wasn’t until the 11th of January that the first death attributed to the virus was announced, and the global community began taking notice. Since then the death toll has risen to 14 people, and over 570 people have been infected.
International doctors are working around the clock to find a cure or treatment for the virus, whose contagious behavior is still not known. It is believed that the virus is a cousin of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Symptom,) a coronavirus that caused a global epidemic in 2003 and killed 800 people. Just like this new virus, it originated from China and is thought to have come about as a result of human contact with mammals. The sooner a cure or treatment for this virus is developed, the least amount of people that are at risk of death or severe physical damage, and we can avoid an epidemic like the one experienced in 2003.
Countries all over the world have begun to take preventative measures, screening passengers from every flight coming from China. The city of Wuhan, where the disease originated, has closed its public transportation, its airport, train station, and bus station. The nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou have taken similar measures, banning public gatherings and closing restaurants.
Despite the alarming rate of infection, the World Health Organization is yet to declare an international emergency, which would divert more money and resources towards stopping the disease and prompt nations to restrict travel altogether. So far, majority of the infections have happened in and around Wuhan, with cases reported in the United States, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam. Authorities from all of these nations have declared that the situation is under control.
This story is rapidly developing and the tolls both for deaths and infections are rising daily. We will continue covering this story on our site.