It was 2003 when a deadly virus going by the name SARS emerged in China. It killed 800 people and affected over 8,000 people worldwide. Now 13 years later coronavirus originating from China has spread to over 845,000 people worldwide and killed over 41,000 people and there is a similarity on how these viruses spread to the human population.
This all started in December 2019 in China when many people reported getting dry cough and fever and then pneumonia. But what worried doctors were that this virus seemed untreatable and proved to be fatal for some people. The disease was named COVID-19 meaning Coronavirus Disease 2019, spreading from a type of coronavirus.
On searching for the roots of the spread of the virus, it seemed the source was not something new. Most of the initial cases of COVID-19 have been to a particular animal market in Wuhan, China. Because of this, China faced scrutiny as this was the case with the SARS outbreak which also originated from a similar market at that time.
These animal markets also known as wet markets exist in various parts all across the globe but the makets in China are a bit strange. Unlike any other wet market, these markets in China sell almost any kind of animal meat, which also includes any sort of wildlife animals.
Coronavirus is particularly found in the bats and it is nothing new for viruses to transmit between species. And in these markets where animals are kept in complete unhygienic conditions, stacked in boxes one over another, covered in blood and waste, act as a hotspot for the spread of the viruses between animals. From then on there are various ways on how a virus can spread to the human population, from a butcher killing those animals, a vendor selling meat to a buyer consuming that flesh.
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After the emergence of this virus, China immediately closed all of these markets and it was kind of evidet that these wild animal food markets are the source of the global outbreak. But this was what they did during the time of SARS, before lifting up the ban after the virus was contained. SO it would be a matter of time of what the decision of the Chinese government is going to be given the fact these wet markets play a big part in the Chinese economy.
It’s March 2020, the effects of COVID-19 have put various countries into lockdown, governments have asked people to stay indoors and practice Social Distancing and only go out until extremely necessary.
After China, Italy has become a major hotspot of the transmission of the virus, having half the number of cases as compared to China but resulting in more deaths. The country is in a complete shutdown, people have self quarantined to slow the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic now as declared by WHO, major events have been canceled, movie releases have been postponed, and some of the biggest celebrities have been affected by the virus.
This COVID-19 outbreak has turned out to be something really big than what most people would have expected. Various businesses have taken a hit, any place where there could be a possibility of the gathering of a large number of people have been advised to shut down, these include restaurants, movie halls, and museums.
As of now, there is no tested treatment for COVID-19, but with many vaccines in works and trials to begin soon for some of the test vaccines, we can probably hope for medicine in the near future.
For now, it comes down to every individual on how they can help in stopping the spread of the virus, this includes remaining away from social events, keeping contact with individuals as less as possible, staying indoors and maintaining hygiene. If you feel like you have been around people who were affected, then it is necessary that you self isolate because the symptoms of COVID-19 could take as long as 14 days to show up.
Most of these things come under the practice of social distancing, were to minimize the communication of the virus proper distance is to be maintained from each other. These small steps can really prove to be big measures in containing the outbreak.
But even after this, there is no stopping another major outbreak like this in the future, until and unless these wildlife animal farms keep on continuing the spread of another virus is likely to happen again.