Be aware: All statistics on this story are present as of 9:40 p.m. April 9 and will probably be up to date often.
Well being authorities are carefully watching an outbreak of respiratory sickness attributable to a brand new pressure of coronavirus referred to as COVID-19. Listed below are the solutions to key questions concerning the outbreak:
What’s the virus?
Scientists have recognized the virus as a novel, or new, coronavirus. The title comes from the Latin phrase for crowns or halos, which coronaviruses resemble underneath a microscope. The coronavirus household has many strains that have an effect on individuals. Some trigger the widespread chilly, whereas some originating in bats, camels and different animals have advanced into extra extreme sicknesses akin to SARS — extreme acute respiratory syndrome — or MERS — Center East respiratory syndrome.
The place did it come from?
The primary instances of COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, in central China’s Hubei province. Most of the first individuals contaminated had visited or labored on the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, which has since been closed for an investigation. Chinese language well being officers say they suppose the sickness first unfold from animals to individuals.
How widespread is it?
Greater than 134 million instances of COVID-19 have been confirmed around the globe, in response to Johns Hopkins College. The overwhelming majority of the early instances had been in China — the place the speed of latest instances has slowed drastically — and Brazil, India and the US have since grow to be hotspots. In the US, which now has the most important reported outbreak of any nation by far, greater than 31 million instances have been confirmed.
How lethal is it?
Greater than 2.9 million individuals have died from the virus, making the mortality charge about 2.2% amongst confirmed instances. By comparability, the mortality charge for the seasonal flu is mostly about 0.1%. Specialists say inconsistencies in reporting instances have made it tough to exactly decide the mortality charge. Additionally, in some locations, solely essentially the most vital sufferers had been examined on the onset of the pandemic, and many individuals with delicate or no signs might by no means be examined. Specialists have stated the virus’ true mortality charge could also be nearer to 1%.
What are the signs?
Widespread signs embody fever, dry cough and fatigue. Shortness of breath, chills and physique aches are related to extra harmful instances of coronavirus, in response to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. In severe instances, the virus could cause pneumonia. The virus and the flu have comparable signs and transmission strategies, to allow them to be exhausting to inform aside.
How is it handled?
Scientists have discovered proof that some remedies may also help sufferers with coronavirus signs. Amongst them are the antiviral drug remdesivir, the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone and convalescent plasma from recovered sufferers.
What a few vaccine?
Two vaccines for the coronavirus started being distributed in the US in December, and extra are being developed. The immunizations from Pfizer and Moderna, which every require two doses, are being given to front-line well being care staff and high-risk populations first. Each are about 95% efficient, and neither has raised severe security considerations in trials of tens of 1000’s of volunteers.