Coronavirus continues to spread in China with more than 2700 cases of infection reported till date. The death toll due to the mystery virus crossed 80 in China, while in the US confirms 5 cases.
The Chinese city Wuhan believed to be the center of the viral outbreak. City workers are spraying disinfectants in the streets. City residents are wearing masks to prevent infection. Cases also reported from the US, Thailand, Japan, S.Korea, Taiwan, Australia. Many countries are screening passengers from China. Thermal scanners are being used to check for symptoms of infection.
Meanwhile many countries expressed concern over lack of transparency by china.
President of Taiwan said " I especially want to urge China, being a member of the international society, that it could fulfil its responsibilities to make the situation of its (coronavirus) outbreak transparent and to share accurate information on the outbreak with Taiwan. We also believe the political concern should not be above the protection of its own people."
What is Coronavirus
Coronavirus is not a single virus but a family of viruses that cause diseases in mammals, including humans and birds. It is a large group of viruses that can cause illness as a minor cold, or as serious as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) and acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization. They often present with pneumonia-like symptoms. Coronaviruses are so named because of the crown-like appearance of their virus particles when seen under an electron microscope (corona meaning crown).
Coronaviruses were first found in humans in the 1960s. SARS coronavirus transmitted from civet cats to humans in China in 2002, MERs coronavirus was spread from dromedary camels to humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to another person through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- The close personal contact
- Touching an object or surface . Then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
How coronavirus can impact the economy and markets
The outbreak of the new virus in China has sent shivers through world financial markets, with investors drawing comparison to the 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in order to assess its potential economic impact.
- A paper by Jong-Wha-Lee and Warwick McKibbin estimates the global economic loss due at SARS at $40 billion in 2003.
- "During the height of the SARS outbreak in April 2003, passenger demand in Asia plunged 45%"- International Air Transport Association.
While the virus originated in China, cases have also found in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and now the US.