Image by : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sickness is no stranger to most people during the winter months, but recently there has been an outbreak in China that health officials cannot figure out. What health officials do know is that it is a form of pneumonia. Pneumonia is a lung inflammation caused by a bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. This infection is most often caused by the flu, but this time health officials believe that it is caused by an unknown pathogen. Officials are saying that the pathogen could be linked to a food market where vendors are selling seafood and animals such as birds and rabbits. The symptoms of this outbreak have stirred a problem in the country of China and the rest of the world.
Officials have stated that there have been thousands of people who have been affected by this infection, and recent reports have shown that it may become an epidemic. The virus was first detected in Wuhan on Dec. 12. Some of the patients were employed at a seafood market in Wuhan. Local media reported the market also sold other live animals, including birds, rabbits, and snakes. According to the country’s official Xinhua News Agency, a female passenger arrived in Thailand on Jan.8, where she was hospitalized. No other passengers were infected, it said, adding that the traveler was now ready to return to Wuhan.
This has led officials to believe that the virus might have been transmitted to humans from animals. At first, officials believed that it could be another start-up of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a serious form of pneumonia. SARS killed over 700 people across the globe during its 2003 outbreak.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said for the first time that there appeared to have been a limited person-to-person transmission of the virus, according to Reuters News Agency.
“From the information that we have it is possible that there is a limited human-to-human transmission,” Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit, told reporters in Geneva. She added that the organization is preparing for the possibility of a wider outbreak: “It is still early days, we don’t have a clear clinical picture. Many earlier cases of the virus had reportedly been linked to a fish market Wuhan.”
Hong Kong health officials also said they would also implement checks on passengers, and that they had stepped up the disinfection of trains and airplanes. Which will be drastic due to the Chinese new year coming on Jan. 25.
For the past few weeks, officials have reported that the Coronavirus has been identified in the U.S. and confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta. As of Jan. 27, 110 samples from 26 states were being tested; five have come back positive, and 32 have tested negative. The rest of the results are pending. The CDC declined to say which states the samples were from.
Coronavirus can be transmitted by people showing no symptoms, and a top British infectious disease specialist said Monday that the actual number of cases around the world could be close to 100,000. For readers trying to avoid this virus make sure you wash your hands and make sure you keep notice of your surroundings.