First We Must Cover Why Controlling The Spread Of Viruses Is So Important, And Look At How Fast The Spread Of Coronavirus Has Been.
There has been a lot of talk and fear recently about the Coronavirus and how quickly it has been spreading around the globe and whether or not it will become a global pandemic.
Month One: The first case of Covid-19 was reported to WHO on December 31st by the Chinese Government of flu-like symptoms in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province with 11 million population. By January 1st the US CDC and Prevention had marked a seafood market in Wuhan as the suspected hub of the outbreak. Now jump ahead to January 6th and Initial investigations into the outbreak ruled out bird flu, seasonal flu, SARS and MERS. On January 7th Chinese authorities had identified the virus, called Coronavirus, which is a family of viruses including the common cold, SARS and MERS. On January 11th the first Coronavirus death was reported, and on January 13th and 15th, the first confirmed cases were reported in Thailand and Japan respectively. On January 17th China reports the second death. On January 21st the first confirmed Coronavirus case hits the US and on January 22nd WHO hold on declaring an international health emergency with already over 500 people confirmed infected and 17 deaths. On January 23rd China implements travel bans and on January 25th, Canada reports it’s first confirmed case of Covid-19. Jump ahead to January 30th and The number of deaths from the virus has reached 170 as of late 29 January, with a total of 7,783 people infected, of which 7,678 are in mainland China, January 31 Death toll hits 213; WHO declares a global emergency. The death toll from the virus has reached 213 and the number of infected cases increased to 9,776, as of the end of Thursday, and we are only one month in.
Month Two: February 2nd, the death toll jumps to 305 people and the first confirmed death from the virus outside China is announced in the Philippines. Suspected cases of Covid-19are nearing 20,000 mark, standing at 19,544 as of 01 February. On February 5th China announced 65 new deaths bringing the new death toll to 492 people and the number of infected cases has surged to 24,527. Also on this day the screening passengers on a cruise ship, named Diamond Princess, lead the Japanese authorities to announce a confirmed ten positive cases. February 6th, the new Death toll from the coronavirus stands at 638. A total of ?31,428? infection cases have been confirmed, including 31,161 in mainland China. Japan reports 41 new cases of Covid-19. On February 9th the death toll stands at 813 people, overtaking the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2002-2003 that claimed 774 lives. With an incredible 97 new deaths, February 10th sees the death toll stands at 910 people. The total number of cases stands at ?40,547 globally, of which 40,171 are in mainland China. NHC report shows a total of 3,281 recoveries in the region. On February 11th The World Health Organization has officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus as ‘Covid-19’. On February 13th Japan reports first Covid-19 death, and its total number of confirmed cases is 248. The Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,369, indicating 254 new deaths and a reported 60,300 confirmed cases Worldwide. By February 16th the coronavirus Covid-19 deaths have climbed to 1,669 with 142 new deaths in China and one in France. On February 18th reported Deaths increase to 1,873 and a cruise ship in Japan now has 542 confirmed cases onboard. On February 19th the death toll passes 2,000 people and the cruise ship Diamond Princess ported in Japan sees cases increase to 621. On February 21st the US now has 16 confirmed cases, Ukrainian protesters attacked busses carrying evacuees from China that are heading to a hospital in Novi Sanzhary and the death toll has reached 2,247. On February 22nd the death toll rises to 2,458 while Iran reports its sixth death and South Korea reports its fifth death.On February 24th the US CDC announces that there are 53 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States. On February 26th the death toll has surpassed 2,750 people with the number infected around 81,000 and 30,000 people are reported to be recovered. The Cruise ship Diamond Princess cases rise to 705. On February 27th, 2020 at the time of this article the death toll is 2,800 with 82,000 confirmed cases around the world and 32,000 reported recoveries.
So What Is The Coronavirus or Covid-19?
Here is a video produced by WHO (World Health Organization) it explains everything that is known at this time about the Coronavirus, I have attached another video that outlines the common Flu virus and you can see the similarities in both the way it acts and spreads.
First here is the video on the Covid-19 or Coronavirus:
Now here is the link to the Flu Virus video: Youtube
In this video, Dr. Peter Lin from Canada talks about where the Coronavirus came from, what it is and how it spreads. The more information we have the better we can protect ourselves and help slow the spread.
Common Techniques At Slowing The Spread Of The Flu Virus
There are a few very well know methods of slowing the flu virus from spreading, and most are just good common sense and good hygiene. The flu virus can live on a hard surface for up to 48 hours so doing a little housekeeping at home, your office, at school, and public gathering areas such as grocery stores can really make a big difference in the spread of the virus.
- If you have to sneeze do it into a tissue or into your arm, not your hands. You touch everything including yourself and other people with your hands, and sneezing into the open air allows the virus to be inhaled by others. Of course, make sure to throw your tissue into the garbage immediately after using it.
- Try not to touch our eyes, nose, or mouth. Liked we talked about in the first bullet point we touch stuff with our hands, that means if a virus is sitting on a hard surface and you touch it and then rub your eyes you are giving the virus the transportation it needs to get into your body.
- Wash your hands often and properly. You should try to wash your hands about 11 times per day, once before each meal (3), and every time after you go to the washroom (8).
- Clean your work surface a couple of times per day, this includes your desk, phones, computer keyboard, and mouse.
- Clean your mobile phone every time you wash your hands. I this day and age we tend to use our phones for everything, we are constantly touching it and set it down on hard surfaces that both could have the flu virus on it. It is a good practice to clean your phone with a disinfectant wipe every time you use the washroom as a reminder, just make sure that you wash your hands after.
- Don’t share cups, glasses, dishes, or cutlery with anyone.
- If you’re sick stay home. Make sure to stay home for 24 hours after the flu is over.
- Ever notice all the magazines and books found in waiting rooms or staff kitchens? Well, guess what, don’t touch them! Other people are often in health clinics because they have a virus and now you are touching the same magazines.
- Make sure your office or home has supplies of tissues, 60% minimum based sanitizing wipes, and clean handwashing stations.
- Avoid shaking hands or hugging others.
Is More That I Could Be Doing?
The short answer is yes, there is much more that you can do at your office, home, public spaces such as restaurants, grocery shopping, malls, sports equipment, and much more. This is just the basics that you should make a habit out of. There are equipment and services available that will help further prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria and we would be more than happy to talk to you about it.
How Concerned Should I Be About The Coronavirus?
The Covid-19 Virus is still very new, we don’t fully understand it yet or know how widespread it will become, or the mortality rate that it brings with it. The flu kills approximately 646,000 people per year, so at 2,800 deaths in two months, the Coronavirus looks pretty small in comparison. What is very scary in these early days of the virus is that it is believed to be as much as seven times the fatality rate for seasonal flu, which is estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year globally. If the fatality rate is between 2% – 4% it would rival or even exceed the fatality rate of the Spanish Flu of the 1918 Pandemic.
Where To Go From Here?
We will keep adding to this article on a weekly basis to update and follow the progress of the virus and precautions we can and should take as a society moving forward.