Approaching midnight on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, the Chinese coronavirus has infected over 45,000 people worldwide and has accounted for over 1,100 deaths. How does this COVID-19 virus (new name designated by the World Health Organization) stack up against other deadly epidemics over the past 100 years?
1910-12 – 40,000 deaths in China – bubonic plague
1915-26 – 1.5 million deaths worldwide – encephalitis
1957-58 – 2 million deaths worldwide – Asian flu
1968-69 – 1 million deaths worldwide – Hong Kong flu
1974-75 – 15,000 deaths India – smallpox
1960-Present – 30 million worldwide – HIV/AIDS
2008-09 – 4293 deaths – Zimbabwe – cholera
2009-10 – 203,000 deaths – worldwide – flu
2010-Present – 9985 deaths – Hispaniola – cholera
2011-Present – 4500 deaths – DROC – measles
2012-15 – 449 deaths – worldwide – MERS
2013-16 – 11,300 – W. Africa – ebola
2015-16 – 2035 deaths – India – Indian swine flu
2016-Present – 1614 deaths – Yemen – cholera
2018-Present – 2251 deaths – DROC & Uganda – ebola
2019-Present – 5000 deaths – DROC – measles
Note: DROC stands for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and MERS stands for Mid-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (coronavirus) Over the past one-hundred years other epidemics have been worse. However, in the past ten years, there have been more severe outbreaks.
Localities in China have been shut down (quarantined) for two weeks to isolate the spread of the disease. People in China are returning to work, except in the Hubei province where the disease started around 60 days ago. Some countries have stopped/quarantined flights to/from China in recent weeks.
Cruise ship quarantines have affected more than the several hundred aboard ships. Two-thousand-plus people are stranded on other cruise ships because they were denied access to four ports in Japan. The same is true for the Holland America Westerdam cruise ship with nearly 1500 passengers and a crew of 800. This ship is denied access to ports by multiple countries.
Many countries’ scientists are working on a cure. The World Health Organization (WHO) is hoping/believing there is a ‘realistic chance’ of stopping the outbreak. However, the WHO still deems this coronavirus a ‘very grave threat.’
The COVID-19 virus can infect both animals and people. The symptoms range from those of the common cold to severe influenza. Over two dozen countries have citizens with this coronavirus.
Avoid contact with people who have any kind of cold/flu symptoms. The COVID-19 virus spreads when there are no symptoms. Take periodic breaks to wash your hands if you are coming into contact on a regular basis.