The number of individuals infected by the Chinese flu-like virus is increasing day by day, surpassing the ones affected by the SARS outbreak during 2002 – 2003. Several countries have started to evacuate their citizens from China because of this outbreak.
The figure for the confirmed cases of this novel coronavirus has increased up to 6000, which is greater than the number of SARS cases (5,327) in China’s 2002 – 2003 outbreak. In addition to the continuous increase in the number of infected individuals, the deaths caused by this virus have also reached 132.
Still, scientists are uncertain regarding answers to many questions about this Chinese flu-like virus, like how severe and infectious the virus can be.
On Wednesday, 200 evacuees have landed in the U.S. and Japan by chartered planes. Though evacuations were also planned by many other countries, they were hindered by the authorities in order to stop the virus from spreading any further.
Throughout the world, countries have decided to cut off the flights to China. As a precautionary measure, Hong Kong has also announced that it will suspend the rail travel from and to the mainland of China. Among the passengers on Japan’s evacuation flight, four reported fevers and coughs, whereas two were confirmed to have pneumonia.
But it wasn’t certain if these two patients were infected by the Chinese flu-like virus, which has symptoms quite similar to severe pneumonia and many other illnesses. Besides the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Australia also announced their plans regarding evacuations of their citizens.
After the government of the U.K. announced to prevent needless travel to China, British Airways declared that it would suspend the flights from and to mainland China. Matt Hancock is the health secretary in Britain.
He tweeted that any individual coming from Wuhan will be isolated and supervised by health professionals for 14 days. This preventive measure was adopted for the first time in 2014 – 2016 to provide protection against the Ebola virus when tourists coming back from West Africa were screened for symptoms.
These steps were proved to be beneficial in providing protection against this virus and preventing its spread. Some of the international sporting events have also been influenced by this novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Over 50 million individuals living in seventeen different cities of Hubei (a province in China) have been confined there for the purpose of disease prevention. This Chinese flu-like virus belongs to the family of Coronavirus that includes viruses ranging from those causing common cold to the ones that result in serious conditions like MERS and SARS.
Up till now, no one is sure about the source of this novel coronavirus and its potential to cause and spread infections. The analysis of the reported cases by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that many of the cases reported till now were not that severe. And among these cases, severe illness was observed in almost 20 percent of the individuals.
Though the Chinese health minister and many other health-related authorities have implied that this Coronavirus may spread before any symptoms can be observed. But there is a lack of data to support it.