A new round of coronavirus: if the pandemic and whether to fear it

This past weekend 22 and 23 February in the world has sharply increased the number of people infected with coronavirus. The virus, which is officially named the SARS-CoV-2, left the confines of China and a cruise ship “diamond Princess”, which received the sad nickname of “floating Petri dish,” writes the BBC.

Новый виток коронавируса: началась ли пандемия и нужно ли ее бояться

Photo: Shutterstock

In China, the coronavirus has infected 77 thousand people, 2600 of them died. In three dozen other countries registered approximately 1,200 cases of infection and 20 deaths.

Cases of disease caused by virus pneumonia was detected last week in South Korea, Iran, and Italy, where over the past three days has died five people. Three infected discovered in Russia, 13 people are being treated in the UK.

On Monday, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain reported the first cases — they all came from Iran. Authorities in Bahrain announced that the coronavirus detected in the driver of the school bus, several schools were closed.

What happens in the world:

  • China postponed the annual meeting of Parliament in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus.
  • The Chinese authorities have forbidden to eat the meat of wild animals, prohibited hunting, transportation and trade of animal species that are under threat of extinction. As far as we know, the epidemic of the new coronavirus was introduced into market in Wuhan, where to sell wild animals.
  • Monday in China was registered 409 new cases Covid-19: mostly in Wuhan.
  • Iran confirmed on Sunday, February 23, in the country found 61 cases Covid-19, mostly in the Holy city of Qom. On Monday, the member of Parliament representing Qom, accused the authorities of concealing facts regarding the epidemic, saying that there already died 50 people. The health Ministry immediately refuted this statement.
  • North Korea is insulated 380 foreign citizens from the fears of the coronavirus.
  • In Tatarstan in social networks, send out a panic message about the patients with coronavirus after eight passengers of cruise liner “diamond Princess” was taken to Kazan. The Ministry of health says that the reasons for panic.
  • In Italy, several areas in the provinces of Lombardy and Veneto imposed quarantine. 50 thousand people forbidden to leave their city in the next two weeks without permission.
  • The price of gold on the world market rose to its highest level in seven years amid fears of investors.
  • The Dow Jones fell by 3.4% at the opening of trading on us markets followed falls in Asia and Europe.

Doctors increasingly say that the spread of coronavirus has reached pandemic proportions. What does this mean?

What is a pandemic?

The word is Greek in origin: from “pan” meaning “all” and “demos” (“people”). Specialists use it in cases when the disease spreads to different parts of the world simultaneously. The words do not be afraid: they represent no danger of the disease, and the scale its spread. It is applicable only to infectious diseases.

Simply put, the epidemic is when the disease is active and uncontrolled spread in one country. A pandemic is when a disease is sweeping through different countries and continents.

The current outbreak COVID-19 (the so-called disease caused by the novel coronavirus) has affected about 30 countries, from Britain to South Korea, and fits the definition of a pandemic by the who, which organization was used until recently.

Today, however, who are not formally uses the term “pandemic”. The who representative Tariq Jasarevic said that the organization simply is no such term.

“For clarity, who does not use the old system of six phases, from phase 1 (when there is no transmission of the virus from animal to human) to phase 6 (pandemic) — which many may remember the H1N1 outbreak in 2009,” he said. But, according to him, the use of the term “pandemic” may be used to denote the spread of a new pathogen, transmitted from person to person.

Flash the spread of the H1N1 virus (popularly known as “swine flu”) in 2009 was the last pandemic in the terminology of the who. Since then, the organization in such cases declares “the situation a public health threat internationally” (Public Health Emergency of International Concern, PHEIC).

In the case of the coronavirus that spread across the planet from the Chinese city of Wuhan, PHEIC was declared on 30 January 2020.

What kind of pandemic we have experienced in the past?

Disease outbreaks of pandemic proportions known to mankind for a long time: they include the celebrated “Black death” pandemic of plague that wiped out Europe in the fourteenth century, and “Spanish flu”, which in the early XX century became infected about 500 million people worldwide, of which from 50 to 100 million died. For a pandemic can be attributed to tuberculosis, which in the nineteenth century was dying every fourth European, and the current spread of HIV.

In the XXI century we are also very frightened of SARS (SARS, 2003), avian influenza (2003), middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), in 2012, Ebola (2014-2015), fever zika (2016). Modern disease had fewer victims than the Spanish flu or the plague. However, recall that the word “pandemic” does not mean the mortality rate, and the scale of the distribution.

How dangerous is the current outbreak?

For the new coronavirus have not yet developed a vaccine. The specialists say that the death rate from SARS-CoV-2 is not to exceed the level of ordinary seasonal flu.

The situation with the current virus is compounded by the fact that its carriers often have no symptoms and do not suspect about their illness. In some people, the disease manifested after many days after they “caught” the virus. Just for this reason, all who have been at risk of infection, sent for a long term quarantine (up to 14 days).

In the fight against the virus it is important to minimize the limit of the propagation velocity. It is recommended to wash hands thoroughly, and avoid close contact with people.

British doctors talking about the benefits of isolation: Professor Chris whitty, chief medical officer of England, on radio bi-Bi-si said that to apprehend the flash is at least in order to gain more time to study the virus and vaccine development.

And besides, if flash does not avoid, then it is better that it fell on the summer, not in winter, when the national health service is experiencing a heavy load.

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