Doctors are finding it difficult to fight the coronavirus. It is known that the virus is spreading rapidly and that there is no known cure. It is known that the coronavirus attacks the lungs and can lead to pneumonia. Results of 99 patients, taken to the hospital, were found to have inflamed lungs. The tiny sacs where oxygen moves from the air to the blood were filling with water. The most common symptoms were a high fever and a cough. Others suffered from shortness of breath, muscle ache, confusion, headache, and a sore throat. Fifty-seven from this group of 99 was still in the hospital, 31 had been released from the hospital, and 11 had died.
The Huanan Seafood Market
It is believed the virus started at South China Seafood Wholesale Market located in Wuhan. The market had live animals, including chickens, rabbits, snakes, and more. The South China Agriculture University suggested the virus could have moved from bats to pangolins and then to humans. Out of the 99 people, 49 had a direct connection to it. Two of the 99 were shoppers, and 47 worked there taking care of the stalls or as managers. Of the 99 studied victims, 40 had a weak heart or damaged blood vessels, while 12 had diabetes.
Present Statistics Are Not Reliable
Since 1000’s of patients are presently being treated, and it is not known how many of them will die, the death rate is not known. Also, it is unknown how many unreported mild cases are out there. This would then lower the death rate. Many people are curious about why the outbreak started in China instead of some other location. Prof Mark Woolhouse, from the University of Edinburgh, said it is due to two reasons. First, people come into close contact with animals harboring viruses, and, secondly, because of the dense urban populations – this allows the virus to spread.
The Infection Spreads
The virus spreads when an infected person coughs droplets, which contains the virus into the air. This can then infect people who are nearby. It has been determined that each infected person is passing the virus on to between two and three other people. This means that the outbreak will not burn out on its own and then disappear. It is most infectious when people are coughing. However, Chinese scientists have said that some people may be contagious even before their first symptoms appear. The incubation period can last up to 14 days. It is known that “symptomless spreaders” are much more difficult to stop. Recently there have been thousands of new cases reported each week. Unfortunately, analysts believe these are only the tip of the iceberg. The analyst’s mathematical models suggest the accurate scale of the outbreak could be ten times larger than the official figures. Different studies estimate the number of cases is doubling every five to seven days.
The World Health Organization
WHO, the World Health Organization, has declared the virus to be a public health emergency of international concern. The group made the same announcement with the swine flu and Ebola. WHO says the outbreak can be contained. However, this determination is not shared universally. Experts, including the former head of the US Centers for Disease Control, argue the virus could become a pandemic – a global epidemic. Presently there are not any vaccines or treatments for the virus. Work to develop them is presently underway. It is hoped there will be trials before the end of this year. Currently, the treatment being offered is to keep the patient’s body going. This includes breathing support until their immune system can fight off the virus. Dr. Golding says, “At the moment until we have more information, it’s really hard to know how worried we should be.”