#Coronavirus Outbreak Officially Labeled as a Pandemic
Today, the #WHO officially labeled the new coronavirus as a pandemic. WHO said they were concerned by the “alarming levels of inaction” as deaths climb even higher.
The outbreak of COVID-19 or the coronavirus in China has raised concerns on a global level. The origin of the virus has been traced to a market in Wuhan, China selling seafood and meat.
Since last December, the virus has spread to several other countries including the United States. Numerous Chinese cities including Wuhan have been quarantined.
Despite this, the virus has already spread to about 70 international locations. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in the United States in Washington, Oregon, California and New York.
There is a lot of concern about the virus due to the statistics as of January 31st. Almost 10,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed as well as 213 confirmed deaths. All of the deaths have occurred in China as well as 99 percent of all confirmed cases.
There have been six confirmed cases within the United States in California, Washington, Arizona, and Illinois. There are 160 people located in 36 states under evaluation for the virus. According to the CDC, cases have been reported from 26 countries.
Almost every case of the virus that has been confirmed involved a person recently traveling to or from China or residents of the country. The prediction is these numbers will continue to increase. The issue is every individual infected can potentially spread the virus to others.
The possibility exists people may be spreading the virus before realizing they are ill. There is no proof to back up this statement, but if true the virus has the potential to spread much faster. There is no definitive solution as to how to contain the virus.
History of COVID-19
The virus has been traced to animals. Although rare, transmission from animals to humans has occurred. The virus is now spreading from person to person. This is not the first virus of this type. Others have included:
- The Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS virus
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome or the SARS virus, The first case was confirmed in southern China in the Guangdong province.
The Symptoms of Coronavirus
The symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild, severe or somewhere between. Once exposed, the person will not develop symptoms for two to 14 days. The symptoms usually include:
- Fever of 104 F and up
- Shortness of breath
Serious symptoms are generally developed by people with a weakened immune system including bronchitis or pneumonia. Some people do not develop any symptoms.
Most of the cases confirmed are adults, although there have been children infected as well. Currently, no evidence has been revealed suggesting the risk for children is higher than for adults.
The Causes of the Virus
The first cause of the virus is contact between animals and humans, The virus can then spread from person to person. At this time, health officials remain unaware of the animal responsible for the virus.
The virus is being spread through specific bodily fluids including the drops contained in a cough. Some experts believe the virus can result from touching something that came into contact with an infected person then touching the eyes, nose or mouth. This has not yet been confirmed.
Diagnosing the Virus
Any person who believes they may have contracted the virus should contact a physician immediately. The recommendation is to call the doctor’s office with any concerns before going to the office.
The staff will ask specific questions to help decide the next step. Common infections are generally eliminated before making a diagnosis. Some physicians may recommend self-isolation to prevent the virus from spreading.
Steps for Avoiding or Preventing the Virus
- Use a tissue to cover the mouth when coughing or cough into the elbow or upper sleeve. Avoid coughing directly into the hand.
- Hands should be washed with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds before eating, after sneezing, coughing, blowing the nose or using the bathroom. If soap and water are unavailable, a hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60 percent alcohol is recommended. Hands showing visible dirt should be washed using soap and water. Hands should not be used to touch the eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid contact with large groups or anyone who is sick. Individuals who are ill should stay at home.
- Travel advisories have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control for a few of the affected countries. Before traveling to any area with confirmed cases of the virus, a physician should be consulted.
Treating the Virus
At this time, no treatments or vaccines are available. The symptoms usually disappear over time. Anyone experiencing symptoms more severe than the average cold should contact a physician.
Fever or pain medication may be prescribed. The person should get as much rest as possible and consume a lot of fluids. Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing should seek medical care immediately. Sick people should avoid contact with others.
Individuals with the virus should wear a mask to help prevent spreading COVID-19. Masks are not recommended for anyone not affected.
Coronavirus and Cannabis
Individuals using cannabis can take steps to stay healthy. Joints, bongs, and blunts should not be shared while the virus is spreading. Passing a joint to others is capable of spreading any virus including this one. The recommendation is for users to stick to their supplies.
One of the most important steps for prevention is washing the hands often. Washing hands extremely thoroughly can help prevent the virus from being transmitted in addition to many other ailments.
Before joining a session or enjoying a few munchies, all users should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. All unproven remedies for the virus should be ignored.
Due to the hype about CBD, the expectations are outlandish claims on coronavirus and cannabis appearing on social media. There is absolutely no truth to any of these claims. No solid research has been conducted on coronavirus and cannabis.
A Word of Caution
It is never a good idea for any person with a virus to smoke weed. Experts have offered advice on stopping cannabis consumption for anyone being treated for or recovering from the normal flu.
Despite the anti-inflammatory, pain relief and sleep benefits of CBD and THC, inhaling smoke while sick is not recommended. Hot smoke in the lungs is not good while fighting either the flu or a cold. Before consumption, the user should do some research.
Precautions for physical contact are important.
Individuals should use a friendly verbal greeting or simply wave as opposed to shaking hands. This does not mean hiding in a panic room or a bomb shelter. Individuals should think about their interactions and touching public surfaces while in out.
Face masks should only be used by healthcare providers and sick patients. The purpose of masks is to prevent the virus from being spread by people already infected in addition to protecting workers in medical environments with a high risk.
Washing the hands often offers better protection than wearing a mask. Some companies have decided to do the work from home routine. Recommendations for people to self-quarantine at home due to a suspected case of the virus have been issued by the CDC.