From December 31, 2019 until the time of writing, the coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, has infected more than a hundred thousand people. Most cases have been found in Wuhan, China, but several cases have also been confirmed in other parts of China as well as in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the US – and subsequently also in Europe.
The fear that the virus will infect more people and countries means that China has now announced that they will shut down all forms of public traffic out of the country.
Many in the city of Wuhan have bunked up with food and other supplies.
It was reported that in Wuhan, it has been full war when buying food. The freezer counters are already cleaned up and people have started to stock up in the face of a worst-case scenario.
Researchers and experts are currently investigating the strength of the virus, how it is infected and where it comes from. Here’s everything we know about the virus, so far:
Belongs to the coronavirus family
There are a large number of viruses that belong to the coronavirus family, most of which are found in different animal species. Only a few types of virus can infect animals and humans. The most well-known coronaviruses are called SARS and MERS.
In 2003–2004, the world suffered from an epidemic of a new coronavirus called SARS. The outbreak caused around 8,000 cases, of which over 750 died. Around 20 percent of those affected were healthcare professionals. The infection first occurred in China but spread to several countries via travelers. Probably the infection came from bats that infected humans via other animal species.
In 2012, a new variant of coronavirus was discovered in the Arabian Peninsula, causing severe pneumonia and complications from other organs, especially renal failure. The virus is called MERS coronavirus (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus) and the disease is called mers.
Symptoms and complications
In addition to SARS and MERS coronaviruses, which can cause severe lower respiratory tract infection with complications in several organs, including kidney failure, infection with other coronaviruses causes mild cold symptoms, cough, sore throat and fever. In exceptional cases, however, more serious cases of pneumonia may also occur for these coronaviruses, but especially in those with cardiovascular disease, impaired immune systems or old age.
Then the Coronavirus is infected
Much indicates that the virus was originally spread from animals to humans. Probably in a market in China, but nothing has yet been fixed at 100 percent. Various media also report that the virus must have come from snakes, and others write that it is bats that are the carriers of infection. In essence, contagion is believed to occur through contact infections or through the air from coughs and sneezes.