What you need to know about the Coronavirus

Jiana Barrera, Courier Staff

The Coronavirus was first identified in the 1960s, however it is still unknown as to where it has come from and can infect both animals and humans. The virus spreads the same way as any cold, such as sneezing, coughing and by touch. Some symptoms of the Coronavirus include runny nose, sore throat, coughing and fever.

Just recently, the Coronavirus has killed over 500 people in China and 28,018 cases have been confirmed. Although the virus originally started overseas, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency as the Coronavirus outbreak spreads well beyond Wuhan, China. Aside from other countries, there are now 12 confirmed cases in the United States. The first confirmed case occurred between a Chicago woman and her husband who are both receiving care in a Hoffman Estates Hospital. The women had been in China’s Wuhan region where the Coronavirus outbreak occurred. She arrived back to her homeland at O’Hare International Airport on Jan. 13 and her symptoms began four days later. Although the outbreak of this incurable virus is extremely serious throughout the world, there are many ways that people can take precautions. Some recommended tips include washing your hands consistently and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes, cover coughs and sneezes with arm or tissue, avoid exposure to people who are showing symptoms, staying home if you are ill, eating clean, getting rest and consistently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.

Many social media platforms have been talking about the ongoing occurrence of the Coronavirus, which leads our society to panic. However, according to the Ohio Department of Health article, the virus is not spreading as rapidly in the U.S. communities. The greater risk of this virus is for people who recently traveled to China and their close contacts.

It is far more likely for the people of the United States to be infected with the flu. It has been estimated that between 10,000-25,000 people have died from the flu this season and there have been no confirmed deaths in the U.S. due to the Coronavirus. Although there are no medications proven to cure this virus, most people with a mild case of the illness recover from drinking plenty of fluids, resting and taking pain/fever medications.

The people within our community should follow protocol, but I do believe that the panic is overly exaggerated through our social media platforms. Aside from the flu, many Americans die every year from other viruses and colds that are commonly spread and are curable. The virus can easily be prevented if our community continues to follow protocol and works to maintain a clean and safer environment for all.