Should We Be Worried About the Coronavirus?

Sarah Khobaib, Student Journalist

A rapidly evolving health story concerning a deadly new type of respiratory virus, has been all over recent news. This troubling story broke just last month in Wuhan, China. Known as the Coronavirus, or more specifically, the 2019-nCoV, it gets its name from the crown-like spikes on its surface. It is spread through close contact, such as a sick person coughing or sneezing on someone. A person can also become infected through contact with the virus particles on a surface, such as a countertop or doorknob. In Chinese cities, almost sixty million people are on lockdown. As of today, the Chinese authorities have acknowledged about 6,000 cases and 132 deaths. In this current age of modern transportation, that number is expected to skyrocket, as unknowingly infected people travel to all corners of the world. In fact, there are now more than seventy confirmed cases in locations outside of China, including five in the United States. 

Travel precautions for China have been raised to its highest level by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This deadly virus needs to be contained and treated as soon as possible,” said Isabel Moran, a junior at Beavercreek High School. 

Symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. There is no specific treatment for the new virus, and no vaccine to prevent it. As of Tuesday, a top United States health official offered to send a team to China to help with the outbreak. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hopes Beijing will accept the offer. Despite its impact on China, the CDC asserts that the risk to Americans is low. However, Americans should still be wary of the disease and stay informed.