The confirmed death toll from the coronavirus is now 427, with a total of 20,000 cases around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the World Health Organization, the deadly virus has spread beyond the epicenter of Wuhan, China, to more than 25 countries. Here’s what you need to know.
Although the virus has started to spread, most of the cases are still located in the Hubei province of China. Officials believe the city of Wuhan is the origin of this deadly flu-like infection.
Unfortunately, the outbreak coincided with the Chinese New Year. This is a time when it is traditional for families to travel across China–and the globe–to celebrate together. It’s similar to American celebrations of Thanksgiving or Christmas.
It’s an especially difficult time for people whose loved ones are trapped in Wuhan. Officials have quarantined approximately 60 million people in China.
The first–and so far only–confirmed case of coronavirus in the US popped up in a hospital in Washington state. The patient had reportedly traveled from China. They have since been discharged with a clean bill of health.
American authorities are evacuating US citizens from the danger zones in China. However, the Chinese government doesn’t approve their methods. 550 American citizens, including diplomats and their dependents, are expected to be flown out of Wuhan to military bases in California.
Although the vast majority of the 427 deaths have happened in China, there are reported fatalities in the Philippines and Hong Kong. Thailand has reported 25 confirmed cases of the illness, though thankfully no one has yet died.
Officials quarantined a cruise ship holding more than 3,000 passengers off the coast of Japan. A passenger tested positive for the virus, potentially infecting everyone on board.
The World Health Organization hasn’t yet deemed the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. However, scientists are extremely concerned. Researchers are testing a variety of vaccines and treatments in hospitals around the globe.
In Thailand, a combination of flu and HIV drugs appears to be promising. Doctors are also using treatments for SARS, MERS, and Ebola that seem to be working.