Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Your Need to Know and How to Protect Yourself

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Your Need to Know and How to Protect Yourself

BCoronavirs Cvd19y now, you have heard about the Coronavirus, that originated in Wuhan, China. In late January, 2020, the World health Organization (WHO), declared Coronavirus as a Global Health Emergency.

Here's what you need to know about it, the latest news, and how to protect yourself and your family.

Overview

Coronavirus (now officially called COVID-19) is an airborne respiratory illness that appears to have originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new variant of coronavirus. By late January, 2020, there were over 1,000 confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City. By the end of February the number was 82,000 worldwide. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating, testing and monitoring as additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. There are already more than 100 deaths, all in China.

The official name for the virus is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV. Learn about Novel Coronavirus from the CDC.

The World Health Organization says:

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)  and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) . A novel coronavirus (nCoV)  is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced they have given an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19

Symptoms

In confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the reported symptoms and related illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms in most otherwise healthy people to severe illness and death in elderly and those with other health issues, particularly respiratory issues. Typical symptoms usually include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses and what they are learning from the current COVID-19 cases.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Mortality

Despite the rapid spread of the virus, it's mortality rate is very, very low among normal people given decent health care.  Yes, people with compromised health and living in countries with poor health systems will have a high death rate.  Even there, the rate is under 2%. In America, there have been no deaths and are unlikely to very many. By comparison, the ordinary flu (did you get your flu vaccination shot?) has already killed 187 children in America since January 1st.

See this page for a compassion of COVID-19, the flu and automobile accidents

Timeline

Following the spread of the virus is an important way to assess the risk of the virus to you. Keep in mind that it appears that China has known about the virus for weeks or months and has been actively suppressing and downplaying the true numbers, including reports of suppressing it's own citizens who attempt to report on it. This suggests that the numbers inside China may be far higher, even double those reported.  You can see the spread on a mapping tool on this website.

The World Health Organization daily situation reports are here.

  • February 1, 2020 - 10,000 reported infected (all but 20 are inside China, 11 cases in the US), 160 dead (all in China) Source Fox News
  • February 3, 2020 - 20,000 reported infected (all but 50 in China), 425 dead (all but 1 are in China)
    11 confirmed cases in the U.S., six are in California, one is in Washington state, one is in Arizona, two are in Illinois, and one is in Massachusetts.
    - source, CBS News
  • February 5, 2020 - 25,000 reported infected (all but 50 in China), 493 dead (all but 1 are in China, including Hong Kong) and over 1,000 have recovered already
    11 confirmed cases in the U.S., six are in California, one is in Washington state, one is in Arizona, two are in Illinois, and one is in Massachusetts. A 39-year-old man died in Hong Kong from coronavirus. Officials said the man, who had a preexisting condition, had traveled to Wuhan last month and was hospitalized Friday
    - source, CBS News
  • February 7, 2020 - 35,000 cases reported; 722 dead, all but one are in China (including Hong Kong)
    See this NY Times report. A Cruise ship docked in Bayoone, NJ with several cases infected taken off into isolation and the others released.
    It should be pointed out that most sources reporting agree that the Chinese government is likely greatly underreporting the number of actual cases.
    The BBC reports that  Dr Li, the Chinese doctor who warned others to protect themselves. died from the virus. He had been investigated ( more like persecuted) by Chinese authorities for "making false comments" and "spreading rumors"
  • February 11, 2020 - 43,000 cases reported; Worldwide: 43 103 confirmed (2560 new)
    In China;  42 708 confirmed (2484 new), 7333 severe (849 new), 1017 deaths (108 new).
    Outside of China - 395 confirmed (76 new), 24 countries, 1 death outside of China
  • February 13, 2020 - 60,000 cases reported;  There was an overnight spike in new cases and deaths from the virus in China, plus one death in Japan.
    See the CNN News Story about the spike in cases here.
  • February 24, 2020 - Worldwide cases at approximately 80,000. But only 715 new cases outside of China. Of the 80,000 total cases, Cina accounts for the vast majority: 77 262 confirmed (415 new)
    2595 deaths (150 new)
  • February 25, 2020 - In the "you just can't make this up" category; the Iranian Deputy Health Minister tested positive for COVID-19,best guesses are that Iran has a major outbreak of COVID-19, but of course, having a oppressive Islamic dictatorship government, there's no way to know what the real facts there are. Al Jazeera reports "Iran's deputy health minister has tested positive for the new coronavirus amid a major outbreak in the country which has seen 15 people die as a result. Iraj Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared to be sweating during a news conference in Tehran on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei."US Coronavirus map
  • March 3, 2020 - 9 total fatalities, in the U.S., after 3 elderly people in a nursing home in Washington died. All fatalities in the U.S. were in Washington State and were to elderly or persons with other health issues
  • March 6, 2020 - US deaths total 19, infected is 390. CDC estimates death rate is well below 1% and seems limited to the elderly and those with other health conditions, especially respiratory.  Children appear to be the least affected group. Global infections are close to 100,000 and around 3,000 fatalities.
  • March 12, 2020 - The US government added a website www.coronavirus.gov to the CDC's website to provide information about COVID-19.
    Total worldwide cases: 118,000.
    U.S. numbers: Total cases: 1215, Total deaths: 36,
    42 states and District of Columbia report cases. No children have died from COVID-19.
    On March 11, 2020 WHO publicly characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
    President Trump shutdown travel from Europe.
    In South Korea no one under the age of 30 has died and in Japan no one under the age of 50 has died
    Only about 10 percent of cases are in people under 30, and just two percent are under 20., No one under age 10 has died anywhere in the world.
    The Death Rate From Coronavirus Is Plunging In China
  • March 13, 2020 - The CoronaVirus has not had much impact on human health in America but the panic and business shutdowns may do far more harm to millions, as public events are cancelled, businesses will feel the impact. All pro sports have shut down, schools are closing, all public gatherings are ending...
    CNBC reports "Europe is now the ‘epicenter’ of the coronavirus pandemic, WHO says"
    US: total cases = 1,832. Total fatalities = 41. That's 1 fatality per 8 million people in the United States... Think about that, you are more likely to win the state lottery...
    According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
    President Trump declares a national state of emergency.
  • March 17, 2020 - The numbers continue to grow, some states are mandating that bars and restaurants close.
    Total U.S. cases: 4,226
    Total U.S. deaths: 75
    Globally:
    198,422  cases (total, includes recovered)
    7,987 Deaths:
    82,762 Recovered so far.
  • March 21, 2020 -  testing has greatly increased, as kits became avail, this explains the big rise in case numbers.
    Total U.S. cases: 15,219
    Total U.S. deaths: 201
    Reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)
    Globally:
    184,708  active cases
    11,953 deaths
    93,618 Recovered:

 


Initial spread of Coronavirus by countryCoronavirus case map (2020-02-11)

In descending order, most cases to least (as of February 5, 2020), country then number of cases. Note: it is likely that there are also many cases in North Korea, but of course, they aren't saying anything!

  1. China 24,800
  2. Japan 35
  3. Singapore 28
  4. Thailand 25
  5. Hong Kong 21
  6. South Korea 19
  7. Australia 14
  8. Malaysia 12
  9. Germany 12
  10. USA 11  as of Feb 5, 2020, 445 as of Feb 27, 2020)
  11. Taiwan 11
  12. Macao 10
  13. Vietnam 10
  14. France 6
  15. Canada 5

Most recent spread map

Coronavirus COVID-19current  spread mapYou'll notice there has been a spike in South Korea and Italy.   Both countries are alarmed and acting quickly to contain the spread.

How is coronavirus spread?

This virus probably originally started from an animal source (some Chinese eat wild animals, such as snakes, bats, rats, etc, which carry new forms of viruses). Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels and bats. Rarely, these coronaviruses can evolve and infect humans and then spread between humans. Recent examples of this include SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.

Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. When humans eat these animals, sometimes the viruses in the animal mutate and become able to infect humans. The Coronavirus appears to have done this, starting in bats in the market in Wuhan, China and is spreading from person-to-person.

Relationship to other viruses

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. SARS is another form of coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civet cats. MERS, another coronavirus variant, came from camels.

Chinese military weapon?

There is discussion in the media about whether the virus originated in a Chinese military lab. At present this could be either a conspiracy theory... or the truth.  We simply don't know.  We Do know that the Chinese government habitually lies and seeks to protect its image and power. The NY Post supports the theory; while the New York Times is dismissive of it.  Given the NY Times horrendous track record of bias reporting and journalists caught in made up news stories... we would lean toward the NY Post's position. Time will tell who's right.  And we will report it here when the facts do come out, as they inevitably will!

How the virus is transmitted

It appears that this virus is airborne, being spread but droplets from a respiratory tract, such as sneezes, coughs, mucus, saliva, etc. Touching the droplets and then rubbing your eyes, face, mouth, etc. is the most likely form of infection. The droplets containing the virus could be left on surfaces like doorknobs, tables, cellphones, etc. Or being close to an infected person (6 - 8 ft) could also result in infection. .

Note: the World Health Organization says "people receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages."

What are the risks?

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the CDC's risk assessment is also changing rapidly. The latest updates are available on CDC's 2019 Novel Coronavirus website.

There are very, very few people in the U.S currently showing infection (3 or 4, in the whole United States). See the current U.S. case count of infection with 2019-nCoV. At present, the risk for those in the U.S. is very low. By comparison, each year there are about 12,000 to 61,000 deaths annually in the U.S. caused by the flu.

According to The Atlantic, last week, (3rd week in February 2020), "14 Americans tested positive on a cruise ship in Japan despite feeling fine - the new virus may be most dangerous because, it seems, it may sometimes cause no symptoms at all."

How are businesses, events and organizations responding?

We've got a list, which we update frequently, of businesses, events and organizations, and their policies regarding opening and conducting their business or events here.

Preventing infection and treating COVID-19

See this page for prevention and treatment information for Coronavirus.

 

More information about the source and spread of 2019-nCoV

  1.  CDC 2019-nCoV Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.
  2. U.S. Department of State China Travel Advisory
  3. World Health Organization, Coronavirus
  4. Know the Facts About COVID-19 and Help Stop the Spread of Rumors - WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2020
  5. Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel (New Travel Alerts)MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2020
  6. CDC in Action: Preparing Communities for Potential Spread of COVID-19SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020
  7. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and ChildrenSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020
  8. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and PregnancyFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020