Corona Virus (COVID-19)

I am sure by now everyone has heard the news or seen memes about the corona virus recently. I did some research and thought I would put up a summery here for you guys before some upcoming posts on sickness prevention while traveling and other health related posts.

While the corona virus is potentially a major threat to the world. It was relatively Isolated to one country. But recently it has jumped to other countries, most of those few cases had been traveling in china when becoming infected and returning to their homes. Only a select few cases were contracted from person to person out side of China. I hope that this will not lead to those in charge letting their guard down, but for the moment they seem to be keeping a good handle on it and the virus doesn’t seem to spreading very fast out side of China. There is the current notable exception of Italy which has an increasing spread in the northern parts of the country with 11 deaths on the last report that I had seen.

Some Background

Corona viruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely can animal corona viruses infect people and then spread person to person such as MERS and SARS and now with this version of the corona virus.

According to the CDC, the corona virus was the causes of a contagious respiratory infection that lead to the current outbreak in China that started in Wuhan City. As of Feb 26th 2019, Over 78,000 cases have been confirmed and reported from within China with a global total just over 81,000. The virus seems to be spreading from person to person contact mostly from people that have traveled to The Wuhan area at some point. Some person to person spread has occurred outside of China but at a much lower rate and those cases still involved someone who had been traveling to China.

Early on it seemed that many of the patients had a link to a large live animal market but more patients began to come forward that had no ties to the market meaning that the spread was occurring from person to person contact more so then from the animals in the live market. Little is know about the severity of the virus as it seems to hitting everyone differently ranging from mild symptoms in some to death in others with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Inside the United States

Cases have be confirmed inside the United states with person to person transfer but they were recent travelers to China or had direct contact with someone who did. They have returned many United States citizens from countries with outbreaks including the stranded Diamond Princess cruise ship and they remain under quarantine According to the CDC there does not appear to be any spread of the virus in the wild at this time within the United states but that is now only a matter of when not if it starts to spread here.

The United States Government has stopped entry of foreign nationals who have visited china in the last 14 days as well as monitoring returning US citizens and residents who have traveled to China but that are allowed to return to the country.

The Risk

The CDC reports that the risk that the corona virus poses globally and in the United States is High. Specifically because the virus has caused illnesses that in some cases result in death as well as the continued person to person spread within China. The Risk is highest for healthcare providers as they will be some of the first to come in contact with any new infected patients.

Countries with Confirmed Cases

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Taiwan
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Thailand
  • The Republic of Korea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam
  • Algeria
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Switzerland
  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Oman

The CDC has travel advisories in place for 5 countries as of 2/26/20 more info can be found here

Alert Level 3 – Avoid all non essential travel
South Korea
Alert level 2 – Practice Enhanced Precautions

States with Confirmed Cases

  • Arizona (one case)
  • California (eight)
  • Illinois (two)
  • Massachusetts (one)
  • Washington (one)
  • Wisconsin (one)
    (Additional Patients and confirmed cases have been brought back to the US and are not included in those counts)

Information Resources

WHO Situation Reports

CDC Corona Virus Summery