The Novel Coronavirus: Stay alert, not anxious!

The rapid spread of the coronavirus might be alarming, but there's a need for information and common sense, not panic.

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NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), U.S. NIH - https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/novel-coronavirus-sarscov2-images

Frank Fitzgeralde

New cases of patients infected with this novel corona virus, now officially referred to as COVID-19, are emerging every day. On February 7th 2020, a cruise ship with 8 infected Americans among the 41 infected onboard was quarantined in Japan.

In addition to those new cases, the death toll numbers never stop rising with, as of February 25, 75,000 infected worldwide with more than 2450 fatalities, including a Chinese doctor, Dr. Li Wenliang, who warned the Chinese government about the corona virus back in December 2019. He was silenced by his government, and precautions were not taken to contain the virus. According to the New York Post, 2442 fatalities have been reported in China with Iran having the highest death toll, of 43, outside of China. Currently (as of 25 February 2019), fewer than 100 people in the United States have been diagnosed with the virus, and no cases have been confirmed in the DC area.

Earlier this month on February 6th, 2020, The World Health Organization took actions in order to contain this outbreak and prevent other cases from spreading. The virus is said to cause fevers, coughs and shortness of breath. These symptoms similar to the common cold make the virus extremely easy to spread according to the Center for Disease Control.

Those alarming numbers make it easy for one to get anxious, and will raise the stress level of those in the areas with cases. However, if safety measures are taken by everyone, it will not only be harder for the virus to spread but also make everyone feel safer. This in return will lower the political tensions between countries that are raising over the spreading of the virus.

As a result of worried individuals purchasing medical mask for absolutely no tangible reasons there is a shortage of medical masks in hospitals and pharmacies. Wearing a medical mask does not prevent one to get infected, on the contrary it prevents an infected person to spread the virus even more by blocking the particles released from the nose and mouth on the mask. Staying at a safe distance of 6 feet (distance the particles travel during a sneeze according to the CDC) of a sick person and staying at home when sick will benefit everyone. Moreover, washing your hands with soap regularly is the simplest way to reduce contamination.

Staying updated on the issue from relevant sources like the WHO (World Health Organization) or CDC is important. They will help and direct you on safety precautions by knowing what to do and how to behave when in contact of an infected person in order to not contract the disease.

More updates are coming and heartbreaking stories on the matter. Remember to stay alert, informed and cautious, and not anxious!

NOTE: If you think you have the virus, contacting a hospital before going will allow the health care workers to prepare accordingly in order for the virus to stay contained and prevent further spreading.