Armed and dangerous: Coronavirus spreads rapidly


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This image shows a blood sample that was positive for coronavirus. Over 400 have died from this disease in China and the number continues to rise.

As the number of victims of the coronavirus grows exponentially, the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency of international concern.  Originating in Wuhan, a province in central China, the first victim had symptoms of a runny nose, a cough, and a fever. To many, this sounds like the common cold; however, things turned from bad to worse when the patient died after not receiving proper treatment.

“I’ve heard that it’s killed multiple people and they’ve shut cities down and quarantined people because it’s spreading so quickly,” Ainsley Grant (10) said. 

The broad term coronavirus comes from “corona” meaning crown in Latin, and the characteristic of virus cells whose flagella form a crown-like shape around the cell’s outer membrane.  Now the coronavirus, whose scientific formula is 2019-nCoV, has raised international concerns with toppling a thousand deaths.

“I’m worried, but also not worried because it’s more worrisome in China, but I don’t think it will get to the United States as fast because we have so many quarantines, like the ones in California and Alaska,” Darya Orgil (12) said. “I think we’ll be fine as a country but I think some cities might be more affected than others, especially the ones where the quarantines are being held.”

Originally compared to the SARS virus outbreak in 2003, the modern coronavirus broadly surpassed its counterpart’s death toll and levels of concern. While the disease has affected 80,000 people in China, there have been 13 confirmed cases in the United States.  Travel towards China has been very limited, with the United States implementing several travel restrictions and China quarantining entire cities.

“I’m not really worried about the coronavirus. I’m actually more worried about the flu,” Kiersten Freeman (11) said. “The last I heard 1,000 had died from coronavirus, but millions get affected by the flu. So I think the flu is something more important than coronavirus right now.”