Pneumonia outbreak was traced to a new kind of coronavirus strain transmitted through person to person contact, objects with contact to a carrier, coughing, sneezing, and other bodily secretions.
A sudden pneumonia outbreak
The Department of health in China has made it clear that certain parts of the country are under strict measures due to the sudden pneumonia outbreak, which was traced back to a new strain of the deadly coronavirus.
The department urged the public to be extra vigilant since this disease is transmitted through person to person contact, objects with contact to a carrier, coughing, sneezing, and other bodily secretions.
As of Tuesday, four deaths have been tallied by the department. But Chinese officials are confident that the current pneumonia outbreak is far from the danger brought by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic of 2002-2003. The SARS epidemic took nearly 800 lives all around the world due to the lack of precautions and understanding of the disease back then.
According to the Chinese pulmonologist who happens to discover the SARS virus way back in 2003, Zhong Nanshan:
It only took us two weeks to identify the new strand of coronavirus. China’s surveillance and quarantine system is a big help in controlling the spread of the virus.
The pneumonia outbreak started from the central city of Wuhan, extending to Beijing and Shanghai. There are 200 national cases reported so far, and only four were confirmed from countries outside China, such as Japan, Thailand, and South Korea.
On an international level
Countries outside China were already placed on high alert within their entry points to screen possible entry of coronavirus carriers. Australia is among those who got strict with Chinese travelers who are in the country for the upcoming Lunar New year holiday.
The fourth casualty of this new strand of coronavirus, an 89-year old man, was also diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Medical results showed that he was diagnosed on January 13 and died five days after.
Among the closely monitored right now are fifteen medical workers diagnosed with pneumonia, with one already in critical condition.
The current coronavirus is a type of pneumonia almost similar to SARS. When infected, you may experience fever, a hardness of breathing, and other symptoms found in respiratory illness cases.
The first case of the new coronavirus in the U.S was recently confirmed, a resident from Snohomish county in Washington. The patient is already isolated at the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.
Featured image by CNA