The Novel Coronavirus: What Do You Need To Know?


effelle, Coronavirus: Pixabay.

Kyra Ramsey, Staff Writer

The novel coronavirus outbreak that began in late 2019 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. With early infections linked to local seafood and animal markets, it was first thought that the coronavirus was spread from animal to person. However, with more recent infections occurring without connection to animals, the virus is now understood to be passed from person to person. 

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, the coronavirus can be spread through close contact with an infected person. Symptoms of the coronavirus can appear anywhere from two to fourteen days after exposure to the virus, and they include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The coronavirus can result in anything from mild symptoms to death. 

Hoping to limit the number of infections, governments are taking drastic measures. The Chinese government took precautions including establishing travel restrictions for half of their population. Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has evacuated the citizens of Qatar and Kuwait from Iran because of the spread of the coronavirus there. However, these precautions are not working, and the virus is still spreading. A cruise ship named the Diamond Princess is now under lockdown after Japanese officials discovered that a previous passenger was infected with the coronavirus. The New York Times states that, as of February 22nd, 2020, there have been 705 cases and 4 deaths caused by the coronavirus on the cruise ship.

As of February 27th, there were 60 confirmed cases in the US, says The New York Times. One of the infected in California was proven to have no connection to previous cases but still tested positive, suggesting “community spread.” CNN states that the coronavirus has infected over 82,700 people and killed 2,809 as of February 28th. 48 countries have been infected, with China having the most infected with 78,497 cases. They also have the highest number of deaths at 2,744. The CDC warns people to avoid traveling to both China and South Korea. 

While opinions of the severity of the coronavirus differ, many Falmouth Academy students believe that it is being blown out of proportion. Edie Leaver states: “It hasn’t gotten that bad here yet, and we need to just keep calm about it because otherwise, it’s just going to cause a nationwide panic.” 

With no current vaccine to prevent the coronavirus, the CDC recommends taking preventative actions, such as staying home if you are sick, covering your face when you cough or sneeze, and washing your hands often.

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