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How Much of a Concern Is the Coronavirus Outbreak?

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

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Overview of the Coronavirus

During a season where many people get sick with the flu, the coronavirus adds to the health concerns as it has spread across not only China, but many other nations as well.

This virus originated in China, and it is believed to be caused by people eating meat infected by rodents or bats. The World Health Organization will continue to meet regularly and seek solutions to eliminate this virus.

This is a difficult disease to diagnose as the primary symptoms are fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough and a headache—symptoms that could mean a cold or the flu rather than the coronavirus. There is currently no specific treatment for the coronavirus.

There are four subtypes of the coronavirus: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. The coronaviruses can cause a range of respiratory illnesses that include the common cold, the Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). While the return of SARS has been ruled out at this time, there is no answer as to the cause of pneumonia for some patients.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), symptoms of pneumonia are mainly fever, with a number of patients having difficulty breathing, and chest radiographs showing invasive lesions of both lungs.

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Who Has Been Affected?

At this time, the virus has been most active in Wuhan, China and over 35 million people are restricted from travel. China is also building a 1000-bed hospital, specifically to treat people with this virus. The World Health Organization stated that millions of people will be impacted by the restrictions of China’s actions. As of February 17, 2020, there have been more than 70,000 people cases and just under 1,772 deaths in China. Abroad, there have been 794 confirmed cases in 25 countries, with 3 reported deaths.

The Chinese government has quarantined Wuhan, which they consider to be the epicenter of the outbreak. They have also restricted travel to additional regions of China and have suspended public transportation. Beijing has also cancelled some major public events as well. This included events for the Lunar New Year celebrations.

What We Know (and Don't Know) About the Deadly Coronavirus Outbreak

How the Coronavirus Spreads

The coronavirus is spread through mainly through contact with an infected person. It can happen on public transportation, in the grocery story or even visiting with a friend. Symptoms may take up to a week to appear.

This virus is spread the following ways:

  1. By being around someone coughing and sneezing
  2. Having close, personal contact, which may be shaking hands or just touching someone
  3. Touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching your mouth, eyes or nose before hand washing
  4. Fecal contamination, though rare, may be a cause

We cannot emphasize the importance of hand-washing. If you have been out anywhere, wash your hands the minute you get home.

The good news is household disinfectants will kill the coronavirus. Even room temperature kills this virus. Carpeting, however, can protect the virus, allowing it to survive for up to seven weeks. This virus is hard to contain as it spreads so easily from one person to another.

Prevention Efforts in the US

The major point of prevention is at airports, where passengers are being evaluated if they are found to be ill. Passengers arriving in Boston and in Chicago have been evaluated but found to be healthy.

The CDC has several plans in place to help prevent the spread of this virus, and these include:

  1. Clinicians were notified on January 8, 2020 to be on the alert for respiratory symptoms, particularly if a person has recently traveled to Wuhan, China.
  2. They are developing guidance for these clinicians for testing and management of the coronavirus, along with home care guidance.
  3. They are working to develop a diagnostic test that will detect the infection much faster. Specimens are currently only being tested at the CDC, but the CDC plans to share these tests with domestic and international clinicians in the near future.
  4. “On January 17, 2020, CDC began implementing public health entry screening at San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports. This week CDC will add entry health screening at two more airports – Atlanta (ATL) and Chicago (ORD).”
  5. The CDC has also activated its Emergency Operations Center so they will be better able to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response.
  6. “CDC also is sequencing the entire genome of the virus from the first reported case in the United States and plans to upload the sequence to GenBank and GISAID when completed.”
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Future Concerns

The World Health Organization may declare a Global Health Crisis if this virus is not contained.

There is a large family of coronaviruses. Some of these viruses cause respiratory illness in human beings, but other viruses circulate among animals, including cats, camels and bats. On rare occasions, these animal viruses can evolve and spread to humans. This has been seen before with MERS and SARS.

Dr. Mehmat Oz also pointed out something very concerning. If a virus can evolve from animals to people, then, can a virus evolve from people and affect animals? If that happens, could our meat supplies become contaminated with the virus?

World Health Organization Says Coronavirus Is Not Yet a Global Health Emergency

Final Thoughts

The coronavirus is very serious as it spreads easily from person to person. This virus could easily become a global threat in many ways. For example, if some of the large homeless population in CA is infected the result could be disastrous.

We can try to prevent transmission if we cover our mouths when we cough, wash our hands frequently and stay away from others if we have cold or flu symptoms.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 17, 2020:

Hi Rilesh,

Thnk you for this very important information.

Ritesh Bhanushali from Bradford on April 17, 2020:

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Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 14, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

You are exactly right in my opinion and sticking to the plan will keep people safe. I appreiate your comments.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 13, 2020:

Each one of us has a role to play in curbing the spread of the coronavirus and help contain/eradicate it in that we adhere to all the precautions and suggestions by the health authorities. A timely reminder.

Robert Sacchi on March 29, 2020:

You're welcome. Stay well.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 29, 2020:

Thank you Robert.

Robert Sacchi on March 29, 2020:

Thank you Pamela Oglesby. I hope the same for you. I watched a video that suggested a better way to get a feel for things was to use a logarithm scale. The log scale should be total cases vs news cases.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 29, 2020:

Hi Robert,

The number of cases has surely risen even if it is somewhat due to more people being tested. I am glad no one has gotten ill in your area. I hope you can stay healthy, Robert.

Robert Sacchi on March 29, 2020:

As of 3/29/20 1330 there are 2,351 deaths in the US. On Friday I got a letter from my company stating I'm an essential worker. They haven't restricted traffic yet in my area but it seems they may anticipate that move. They have done this in NYC, I don't know if it entails the entire state.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 29, 2020:

Hi Robert,

It is hard to know the end results for the US or India. Increased testing is probab;y part of the increase. I guess we have to wait and see what is next.

Robert Sacchi on March 28, 2020:

The U.S. numbers are still going ballistic. As of 3/28/20 1112 we have 105,470 cases and 1,711 deaths. The new cases could be a result of increased screening. That is an optimistic way of looking at things.

India could come out of this stronger. India's numbers are notching up. With 933 cases the numbers are low. Definitely can go either way. Ironically China could be the country that comes out on top of all this.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 28, 2020:

Hi Vihaan,

I hope the lockdown does not take too long. We have to have the lockdown though as we want the pademic to end and that is what it takes. Thank you for your comments.

Vihaan Gupta from Pune on March 27, 2020:

In India, under the lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, major institutions are operationally shut down. It's a glimmer of positivity, that internet and media are still functioning (makes one appreciative of the things we otherwise take for granted). Articles like these connect the isolated conscious of the individual to the entire world - and affirm that we are not alone facing this. I read another statement by Labor Undersecretary, sanjeev nanda that the lockdown might go on for 3 more months. I hope we come out of this more powerful than before.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 25, 2020:

Hi Diana,

It is a good time to follow those safety practices. I appreciate your comments.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on March 24, 2020:

Good to keep our safety hygiene practises in place, during such a vexing time.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 16, 2020:

Robert, I have been on some cruises and loved them, but I would not go when we have a virus like this going around. It just takes one sick person to affect a few others and so on.

Robert Sacchi on February 16, 2020:

The repercussions could last long after the outbreak is history. Wonder how many people look at cruises as a good place to catch a disease?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 16, 2020:

Robert, that says something about the negative economic effect. The economy has been so good and I hope these virus cases won't increase for that and many other reasons.

Robert Sacchi on February 16, 2020:

A few people were laid off where I work. It's an airline related industry.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 16, 2020:

Robert, My husband and I were just talking about the economic impact yesterday. If this virus continues to spread we could feel the ecoonmic impact in the U.S. as well. Thanks Robert.

Robert Sacchi on February 16, 2020:

There is also an economic impact. Cutting flights in and out of China alone has an impact.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 16, 2020:

Hi again Robert, I didn't know about the death in France but I did hear numbers of the sick on the news today. The virus is sure affecting the Chinese people. I am concerned about the spread for sure.

I did hear that the virus is spreding faster than the SARS virus did but it is not as deadly. It isn't good news regardless. I do think the CDC and all the other agencies are doing a lot to help prevent the spread but I really don't know where it goes from here.

Robert Sacchi on February 16, 2020:

What about the speed of the disease spreading outside of China? It is slower or faster than normal? I read the first death outside of Asia, France, occurred today.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 16, 2020:

Hi Robert, I know the numbers have continued to grow since I wrote this article. it is a scary viruse for sure. Thank you for your comments.

Robert Sacchi on February 15, 2020:

Thank you for posting this timely medical article. As of this morning, 2/15/20, there are 15 confirmed cases in the United States.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 15, 2020:

Hi Manatita, You have covered the effects of this virus very wel. It sure is serious and the numbers have grown since I wrote this article.

Thank you so much for your comments. Have a nice weekend.

manatita44 from london on February 15, 2020:

A very timely and thorough account. Good to know what one is dealing with.

I feel for those affected in China and elsewhere, the impact on medicine, travel, trade, finance and jobs as well as health. This is a problem with many potential uncomely forces to one's well being.

You have covered it well. A serious matter but we all need to be informed.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 12, 2020:

Hi Paul, It sounds like you mad safe choices when you were in Bangkok. I would think anyone in an airport would have a mask on. I appreciae your comments, Paul.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on February 12, 2020:

Living in Thailand, I have been very concerned about the coronavirus especially when I had to visit Bangkok for a medical appointment 7-9 February 2020. I tried to protect myself by wearing a mask and gloves as well as frequently washing my hands. Thankfully, I wasn't in contact with Chinese from mainland China. Surprisingly, many of the younger western tourists I saw at the airport were not wearing masks. Thanks for sharing a very useful and informative article.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 10, 2020:

Hi Alyssa, This virus is slowly spreading around the world. I think I heard there were 5 cases in the US and many more have died since I wrote this article. It is scary.

I appreciate your comments and I sure understand your concerns.

Alyssa from Ohio on February 10, 2020:

This is scary, and one of the most frustrating aspects of the whole thing was how the news treated it as if it wasn't that serious.. until people started showing symptoms across the U.S. I think there were a few precautions that could have been taken initially to help prevent the spread, but of course, that didn't happen. I hope they can get a handle on it soon. Thank you for this informative article!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 06, 2020:

Hi Lora, I think it may have been called a global threst a couple of days ago. I hope it doesn't spread more in other countries. I believe there are 7 in the U.S. It is a scary disease. Thank you for your comments.

Lora Hollings on February 05, 2020:

An excellent article on this virus and how it can spread. It is scary because it can spread from person to person quite easily. And I also heard that although China did a quarantine in Wuhan that it wasn't until 24 hours or more had passed and there were already around 5 million people who left the city. This could become a global health threat. We need to all become aware of symptoms and take all necessary precautions from getting the virus or spreading it to others. Thanks for this great info!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 04, 2020:

Hi Meg, More people have died since I wrote this article but I think it has not spread too much. It is scary. Thank you for your comments.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on February 04, 2020:

Great information, thank you. It is a scary time wondering if this pandemic will spread further.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 03, 2020:

Hi Maria, Of course the number of deaths and the number of people sick has increased. I think the CDC is handling it well. Yes, a containment sooner than later is hoped.

Love and have a good week.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on February 02, 2020:

Thanks for this information, Pamela - also hoping the coronavirus is contained soon.

Have a peaceful evening. Love, Maria

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 01, 2020:

Hi Lorna, I appreciate the praise. I never expected to be on that list. Have a wonderful weekend.

Lorna Lamon on February 01, 2020:

Many congrats Pamela - such wonderful articles. Well deserved.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 31, 2020:

Hi JC, I sure hope this virus is contained quickly. It is a little scary. I appreciate your comments.

JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on January 31, 2020:

From cloudy Gainesville, Florida...Great article.

Let's hope the coronavirus pandemic in China resolves itself quickly.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 31, 2020:

Hi Flourish, i appreciate your very nice comments. I never expected to get any award so it has been a pleasant surpirse.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 31, 2020:

Hi Prantika, Somehow I overlook your comment. I agree that Dr. Oz raised a valid concern. I hope this virus is contained soon. Thank you so much for your comments.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 31, 2020:

Congratulations on your Hubbie Award! You're fantastic, Pamela!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 31, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada, I appreciate your thanks. I never expected to win any award, so it was a nice surprise.

The coronavirus has expanded to new areas since I wrote this article. I heard India stopped planes from traveling back and forth to China, which is good. Any way to prevent the virus is a positive. I know they are working hard to contain this virus. Thank you so much for your comments, Chitrangada.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 31, 2020:

First of all, I want to Congratulate you for the Hubbie award. So well deserved indeed.

Coming to this article—Thanks for the valuable information on this subject, that is Coronavirus. We have been reading about this in the Newspapers and watching Television. It’s a cause of concern for the whole World. Thankfully, the concerned government authorities are taking adequate steps, to prevent it from spreading further.

Thank you for sharing informative article.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 30, 2020:

Hi Rajan, I think it was very smart of India to shut down flights to and from China. I agree with all the possible things you listed to try and avoid becoming ill.

I hope this virus disappears quickly as well. I know many doctors and researchers are working hard to find a treatment but viruses are difficult to treat. I hope the virus will be contained. I appreciate your comments.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 30, 2020:

The spread of coronavirus is certainly a cause for concern if it is not contained. Since people from all over the globe travel to China, it becomes all the more necessary to find not only a treatment for it as soon as possible. A good thing for us is that all flights to & from China from India have been put on hold until the 17th of February 2020.

Since viral infections are not contained by an antibiotic, the only immediate thing to possibly do is stop consuming meat especially raw as many Chinese do and also boost the body immunity as much as possible besides precautions like wearing masks, keeping away from crowded places, washing hands frequently and the like.

I just hope by some stroke of providence this virus dies as quickly as it has struck.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 30, 2020:

Hi Devika, I think this will be a crisis as long as the virus continues to spread and it is scary. Thanks so much for your comments.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 30, 2020:

Hi Pamela informative of the virus and at such an alarming rate scares me. I know more from you hope this clear soon. many people are not able to travel and it is a crisis at the moment.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 30, 2020:

Hi T, Your mother must be a strong woman and I'm sure you are proud of her service. We were taking care of my mother too but at 95 she passed away this past June. I .miss her everyday.

I have never heard of PatriotsTruth4.org. I hope that information is not true and if it is I hope the whole story comes out.

Thank you for your generous comments,

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 30, 2020:

Hi Cheryl, This virus is very alarming as it continues to spread. I hope they get it contained soon. I appreciate your comments.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on January 29, 2020:

This is pretty alarming. Thank you for sharing these facts.

The Logician from now on on January 29, 2020:

Great article Pamela.

Your articles are quite informative. I was attracted to this one however because I have great respect for RNs and today is my mother’s birthday and guess what, she is an RN. She also was a WW2 Navy Nurse and when she finished training she was shipped off to Hawaii right after Pearl Harbor was hit. Spent 7 years there. Today she is 102 and lives with my wife and I.

But back to the topic, I read today that Patriots4Truth.org has published a report saying that the virus is a bioweapon that was created with funding and resources from DARPA, Bill Gates, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Wellcome Trust (a UK corporation), Defra (UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), and the European Commission (which is part of the EU government).

They say the coronavirus was then patented by the Wellcome Trust via the Pinbright Institute (UK).

I have no idea who Patriots4Truth.org is but I suppose what they say can be verified if it is true.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the global warming psychos at those companies and Government departments think killing off a lot of Chinese will save the planet - you know we only have 12 years left ... if that many.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 29, 2020:

Hi Vivian, This virus continues to spread and I sure hope the authorities can get it under control. It is sure scary. Your comments are appreciated.

Vivian Coblentz on January 29, 2020:

Pamela,

I've been hearing about this virus in snippets on the news but didn't have all the facts. Thanks for simplifying it and laying it all out for us. Scary!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 29, 2020:

Hi Flourish. I also wonder about meat eating. We may be in for some surpirsed down the road.

Prevention is important with the coronavirus and also simple. It is an airborne virus so stayig away from someone that is coughing is important. The only good news I see is the fact the this virus doesn't live long on various surfaces in your home, except carpeting. Thank you for your comments.

Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on January 28, 2020:

Thank you for sharing the informative article. Hope that the spreading of the virus is controlled and many lives can be saved. Dr. Mehmat Oz has raised a valid concern.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 28, 2020:

This was extremely interesting. There’s so much information about how many people might have it and where but not about prevention. I’m wondering if there’s a lesson here about meat eating again. So much goes back to how we treat animals.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 26, 2020:

Hi Clive, I hope it doesn't come there as well. Thanks for commenting.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on January 26, 2020:

hope it didnt come my way

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 26, 2020:

Hi Ms Dora, This does seem like a frightening disease as some do die. I hope it is contained soon.

I was concerned by what Dr. Oz said as that could be something quite awful. I don't think many people really read that part of the article carefully as no one has mentioned it until you came along. I have concern about the transference from animal to man and possibly back again.

I appreciate your comments and hope you have a good week, Ms Dora.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 26, 2020:

Pam, all the reports make this virus seem very serious, even frightening. Thanks for supplying these facts. It is good that the Health Organizations are taking measures to prevent the spread. However, Dr. Oz's observation deserve our attention.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 26, 2020:

Hi Liz, I heard on the news this morning that 56 have died and there is now 3 cases in the US. I sure hope it does not continue to spread. Thank you for your comments.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 26, 2020:

You have given a good evaluation of the situation. Time will tell how the spread of this virus develops. I was amazed to see yesterday that the Chinese intend to build a new hospital in 10 days to cope with the increased demand.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 25, 2020:

Hi John, This virus is very concerning for all of us. I hope the other four people test negative. If the authorities can keep the virus out of Australia, that is the goal.

Thanks so much for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 25, 2020:

Hi Linda, In the US we really only have that one man and I just hope the CDC can come up with a test to diagnoses this virus since the symptoms are so much like the flu.

I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 25, 2020:

Hi Mel, I can see you are taking this virus seriously! I do hope it can be contained in China for the most part. I have been hearing about this virus anytime I turn on the TV or radio also, which is why I decided to write this article.

I appreciate your generous comments. Good luck with holding your breath.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 25, 2020:

Hi Eric, I didn't like what Dr. Oz said either but I thought everyone has a right to know how this virus got started. Those toilette come in very handy sometimes. I am glad everyone is washing their hands in your household.

I pray we all stay healthy. I appreciate your comments, Eric.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 25, 2020:

Hi Audry, I have the same concerns as you and I hope we can all stay well. If I came across someone who is coughing I think I would move away quickly.

Your comments are appreciated, Audry.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 25, 2020:

I've been following this on the news and I have to say, it scares me. I'm an avid hand-washer but I wonder if even this will prevent coming in contact with this virus. Thanks for all the information and let's all stay well!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 24, 2020:

Very interesting. I love having a source of knowledge from you. I don't think a search on the internet is worthwhile. I will let you do it and trust.

I have been in places where my first order of business was to locate a place to wash hands. Always carried like a hotel small bottle of soap. And of course now the ease of towelettes.

I don't care if I get a funny look when I do not shake hands. My son and wife's first order of business is to wash hands while entering the home.

This virus must be taken very seriously. I do not like Dr. Oz pointing that out, I would rather have not known. Especially sense the feed lots have bugs that travel to crops.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on January 24, 2020:

Very timely article. Since I don't live in the Bible belt, like MizB down there, Corona Virus news has been trumping Trump. Every time I turn on the radio I hear about it, but your article goes way beyond those sound bites.

Northern California especially has a huge Chinese - American population, so the Golden State is going to get slammed. I am going to stop breathing until this blows over.

Great work filling in some of the gaps. I am going to rip the carpet out of my house right now.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 24, 2020:

The outbreak is a worrying situation. I'm glad the officials are trying to stop the virus from spreading. I hope as many people as possible are helped if they are already sick.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 24, 2020:

Pamela, thank you for sharing this article. As we speak one case has been confirmed in Melbourne and five people are being currently tested in Sydney for the coronavirus. One person tested negative and has been released from quarantine. This is very concerning.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Ruby, I have found that the hand washing habit stays with you also. This virus is scary as it spreads so easily. Thank you for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Doris, You bring up some great questions and concerns. I wish I had all the answers. The cornavirus is a type of virus but I never read that it was related to the flu virus. It is not SARS, which is another type of virus.

I hope it does not spread to the US. Right now there is one known case in Washington, which I wrote about. Other people that have been tested have not had this virus. The symptoms are sure the same as the flu however.

I wish I coud tell you more but there are some unknowns right now. I appreciate your generous comments, Doris.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on January 24, 2020:

Pamela, I had not heard about this. I guess maybe we are just isolated here in the South Central U.S. or maybe other current events have our news people occupied. LOL. Thanks for enlightening us.

Very scary, especially if there are many strains of this virus as there are various strains of flu. And what will the authorities do it it does hit a large homeless population? Will public safety override individual privacy laws, and it also brings up the question of how these people will be treated? It is out of the question to go out and eradicate a whole community of infected humans.

One thing I didn't see in the article, and perhaps they don't know yet, is the coronavirus related to the flu virus at all? One statement was that it could cause upper respiratory illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, but no mention of influenza. Thank you for once again bringing our attention to a health matter that concerns us all.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 24, 2020:

Being an RN for many years, I still wash my hands frequently. The thought of contacting this virus is scary. Thanks for all the latest info.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Linda, You make an excellent point in the fact that we are a global society and when a virus like this occurs, we are all in danger. With the large number of cases of the flu it is scary to know the symptoms are the same for the coronavirus. The 1917 pandemic was horrible and I hope we don't see that again.

Thanks for commenting, Linda.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 24, 2020:

Pamela, thank you for explaining this in terms that all of us can understand. My mother-in-law's parents and an older brother died in the pandemic of 1917 so I observe this with interest and fear for all people in the world. We are definitely a global society and there are no longer any boundaries.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Bill, I think China is trying to be proactive with the new hospital and the regulations for the Chinese population. I sure hope we can develop a test that diagnoses this virus.

I appreciate your comments, Bill.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on January 24, 2020:

Hi Pam. It’s amazing how quickly these things can spread around the world. I was watching the news this morning and China is building a 1000 bed hospital just to treat patients with the coronavirus. Hopefully, they can contain this quickly before it gets out of control.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Peggy, That is excactly what is scary about this virus. So many people have the flu now and with the symptoms being so similar we have to be so cautious.

I agree that no one hs any business going to work or school if they are sick right now. I hope this resolves quickly. I appreciate your comments, Peggy.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Lorna, The flu season is here also and definitely a concern because how could you differentiate between the viruses? I have concern about the coronavirus spreading also. The incubation period is about a week.

I hope they will come up with a good diagnostic test. Thank you so much for your excellent observations and comments.

Lorna Lamon on January 24, 2020:

Unfortunately here in the UK we are in the middle of our 'Flu' season, so you can imagine how distressing this news is. I also believe that many people left China early to travel for the Chinese New Year and so we may see more cases. Millions of people are now in lock down in China and even though this may contain the outbreak, it also presents other problems for these people, food, water etc. There is an incubation period so I'm not sure if screening will pick up anything during this period. People need to be vigilant if they have been to this part of China and are now in another country. An excellent and informative article.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 24, 2020:

The really scary thing about this is that the symptoms are similar to colds and the flu. We are in the middle of the flu season which compounds this issue. People should really stay at home if they are ill instead of going to school or work which they often do. As you pointed out, handwashing is essential. Let's hope that they can contain this in a timely matter.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Bill, I hope they can gain more information too. The man in Washigton had been to China a week before he got sick and the last I heard he is doing well. I hope he didnot affect anyone else. I appreciate you comments, my friend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Devika, I agree the lock down is definitely a good thing if they have hope of containing this virus. Prevention is so important too. Thank you so much for your comments.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 24, 2020:

Scary stuff. We were all a bit surprised to hear about the case in our state. Hopefully the experts will gather the knowledge they need to eradicate this threat.

As always, an interesting article.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 24, 2020:

This is serious and precautions need to be taken serious as well. The lock down is a start to prevent other cases but it has spread faster than they thought it would. An excellent reminder from you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 24, 2020:

Hi Ann, I just read about Scotland. It is concerning as t how fast this virus spreads and the fact that it comes from animals. They eat things in the area of China that much of the world wouldn't eat but I am concerned that the virus can evolve that way.

I see people that don't wash their hands also and it really is one of the most important things for anyone. I appreciate your generous comments Ann.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 24, 2020:

Yes, this is a worrying development, especially as so many people travel easily around the world. It was announced this morning that we have some infected in Scotland and tests are being carried out on several people, some Chinese but it seems not all.

I'm amazed at how rapidly they've 'locked down' the towns in China and I have such sympathy with those affected, infected or not. The medics are so quick to act on this so I hope the spread is at least kept to a minimum but their swift actions and monitoring

Washing hands and general hygiene cannot be emphasised enough, whatever the infection, wherever we are. Sadly, I still see people in public toilets not bothering to wash their hands after using the facilities; I even use my sleeve to open the doors rather than touching the handles.

Thanks for the details about this, Pamela. You are always well-informed and adept at sharing the information.

Ann