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COVID-19 Now a Pandemic
A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.
It is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from Bat.The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide and community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries.
Some common symptoms coronavirus
People may experience:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing (severe cases)
As of 15 March, more than 156,000 people have been infected in more than 80 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
There have been over 5,800 deaths globally. Just over 3,000 of those deaths have occurred in mainland China. More than 73,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus.
Why is this worse than normal influenza, and how worried are the experts?
We don’t yet know how dangerous the new coronavirus is, and we won’t know until more data comes in, but estimates have ranged from well below 1% in the young to over 3% among those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions. Seasonal flu typically has a mortality rate below 1% and is thought to cause about 400,000 deaths each year globally. Sars had a death rate of more than 10%.
Another key unknown is how contagious the coronavirus is. A crucial difference is that unlike flu, there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus, which means it is more difficult for vulnerable members of the population – elderly people or those with existing respiratory or immune problems – to protect themselves. Hand-washing and avoiding other people if you feel unwell are important. One sensible step is to get the flu vaccine, which will reduce the burden on health services if the outbreak turns into a wider epidemic.
In The US
Since the first U.S. case of the coronavirus was identified in Washington state on Jan. 21, health officials have identified thousands of cases across the United States. By March 16, the virus had expanded its presence from several isolated clusters in Washington, New York and California to 49 states and the District of Columbia. To date, there have been over 70 deaths across the country.
Coronavirus: U.S. Urges Americans To Home-School; The WHO Says: ‘Test, Test, Test’
Also California officials announced a complete lockdown of the Bay Area, including San Francisco, that requires people to stay home except for essential needs, and the governor of Ohio is recommending postponing the state’s primary elections originally scheduled for Tuesday.
The Trump administration’s new guidelines might be inconvenient or seem like an overreaction to some, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. But he added, “They were well thought-out.”
“When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are, if you think that today reflects where you really are,” Fauci said.
Because of the lag in getting results that show the true spread of a disease, Fauci added, the new policies are commensurate with what is “actually going on in reality.”
Canada closes border; U.S. citizens exempted
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his country’s borders will be closed to nearly all non-Canadians, with the exception of U.S. citizens.
“We will be denying entry to Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents,” Trudeau said at a briefing outside his house in Ottawa.
Exceptions will be made, he added, “for air crews, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadian citizens, and, at this time, U.S. citizens.”
Trudeau is currently observing a 14-day period of self-isolation, after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for the coronavirus.
How To Stay Safe from Corona Virus?
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
Can a face mask stop coronavirus? Covid-19 facts checked
For More Safety Tips please refer to WHO’S website