Coronavirus Outbreak: Is it Curable?

Raven Haengel, Photographer, Writer

As of now five cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. Recent cases have been in California and Arizona. In Canada, the first report of coronavirus was in Toronto. A total of 56 people has succumbed to the Coronavirus in China. In Wuhan, China Scientists claim the number of cases can rise to 190,000. The virus has also sickened more than 2,000 people. You’re probably asking yourself what is the coronavirus? Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). There is a lot of different coronaviruses, the common ones are called 229E (alpha coronavirus) NL63 (alpha coronavirus) OC43 (beta coronavirus) HKU1 (beta coronavirus). There is a lot of other human coronaviruses like MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS) SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS) 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The novel coronavirus is a new reported version of the coronavirus that was identified by Chinese authorities. This virus is associated with the outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. SARS-CoV is a severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus that was first introduced in China, November of 2002. The outbreak had a total of 8,098 possible cases and 774 deaths. Since 2004, there has been no sign of this virus. MERS-CoV stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The virus has since infected others in different countries near or around the Arabian Peninsula. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are still monitoring the risks of the virus, on how it spreads, the source, and preventing the infection. China has since locked down 15 cities of around 50 million people in hopes of preventing the virus to spread. The U.S. and other countries are now screening passengers coming from China, even some Russian provinces are thinking of closing their borders with China entirely. Dr. William Schaffner told CNN “When I heard this, I thought, ‘Oh dear, this is worse than we anticipated.’ It means the infection is much more contagious than we originally thought,”. China’s Health Minister Ma Xiowei told reporters “Transmissibility is increasing,” “The outbreak has come to a severe and complicated situation.” Karla Satchell, a professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University Feinburg School of Medicine said to the Washington Post, “The pace is unmatched,” “This is really new. Lots of people [in science] still try to hide what they’re doing, don’t want to talk about what they’re doing, and everybody out there is like: This is the case where we don’t worry about egos, we don’t worry about who’s first, we just care about solving the problem. The information flow has been really fast.” Purdue University are preparing to produce experimental drugs to fight SARS, to see if it will fight against the coronavirus. Antony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in an interview, “The fact that it’s about three months is really, I think, remarkable, because that would be the fastest that we have ever gotten from the time we got the sequence to the time into a human,” “If we can do that, it would be the fastest on the record.” These scientists are working hard in preventing this virus from spreading, let’s hope it can end fast.