Efforts to Counter New and Fatal Virus


Kimberly Garcia, Contributor

The Wuhan coronavirus has spread from China to other parts of the world. There are confirmed cases in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and most recently, the US. The first case of the virus in North American was reported on January 19 in the state of Washington. It has killed about 17 people worldwide.

Three US airports are now screening incoming passengers from Wuhan, China for any symptoms of the virus. The reported symptoms of the virus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath; severe cases can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure, and death. However, it can take up to a week after exposure to the virus for symptoms to pop up.

Scientists across the country are trying to develop a vaccine to fight the virus, but it’s expected to take quite some time for it to be fully finished. The National Institutes of Health has begun efforts to create a vaccine; however, it isn’t expected to be finished until a few months before it can be tested, and over a year for it to actually be available to the public. Regardless, the scientists of New York, Texas, and China are also working on their own cure.

While the virus has only been found in one state, there’s no telling how far it’ll spread within the country. To avoid the virus, avoid close contact with those showing symptoms of a respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. Also, one should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after handling meat and eggs, as scientists believe the virus originated from animals. If one believes they’ve caught the virus, they should disinfect whatever objects they’ve touched, and cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing; wearing a surgical mask is advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: CNN

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