The 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. As of 28 February 2020, more than 83,000 cases have been confirmed in over 50 countries, of which 8,000 were classified as serious. At least 2,800 deaths have been attributed to the disease, surpassing that of the 2003 SARS outbreak. More than 36,000 people have since recovered.
The virus primarily passes from one person to others via respiratory droplets produced from the airways, often during coughing or sneezing. The time between exposure and symptom onset is typically between two and fourteen days. Symptoms may include fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment (although research is ongoing); efforts often aim at managing symptoms and supportive therapy. Hand washing, maintaining distance from people who are coughing, and avoiding touching one’s face are recommended to prevent the disease. Anyone who is suspected of carrying the virus is advised to monitor their health for two weeks, self-isolate, wear a surgical mask, and seek medical advice by calling a doctor before visiting a clinic. Continue reading “2019–20 Coronavirus Outbreak”