Coronavirus: The Next Plague?

Many Chinese citizens wear surgical masks to prevent the virus from spreading too easily.

Many Chinese citizens wear surgical masks to prevent the virus from spreading too easily.

Jack Garrigus, Editorial Staff

There is an incredibly infectious disease spreading across the globe right now.

The so-called coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Its creation was initially linked to a live animal market, where customers could purchase “bat soup.” This suggest the virus most likely began in wild animals before graduating to humans.

What was initially thought of as a small-time outbreak has ballooned into a national crisis. Virologists have explained that coronavirus can be transmitted by people with no symptoms, which heavily increases the odds of it spreading out of control.

Currently, 6,000 people in China alone are infected with 132 confirmed deaths. Surrounding countries like Japan, Thailand, and South Korea also have confirmed cases, but some European countries as well.

However, in contradiction to Chinese health officials, a British virologist believes that the disease has most likely infected over 100,000. This hypothesis is supported by a video confession from an anonymous Chinese nurse who claimed that more than 90,000 Chinese citizens had contracted the disease.

At the time of the video, China’s most recent estimate had been a mere 1,500. This lowball estimate and its struggle to contain coronavirus has led to massive criticism of their protocols.

Many Americans were allowed to leave Wuhan before the area was quarantined, along with nearly 5 million locals. Two students at Miami University in Dayton, Ohio, are currently being tested for the virus.  Most notably to Loyola Academy students is the five confirmed cases in the United States, one of which was in Chicago. 

Panic about the disease has already led to the postponement of two Ohio college basketball games on Tuesday. Some fear-inducing conspiracy theorists have also mentioned that there was a major plague in 1720, 1820, and 1920.

No country it seems is safe from the infection, so the cure is a top priority worldwide. The US has also considered enacting a nation-wide ban on flights to China to limit the disease. A plane sent to China to evacuate 200 Americans landed in Southern California on Tuesday morning, and all the passengers passed health checks. This might be the last plane to China for a while, until a cure is found.

While it is unlikely that this virus is allowed to spread as rapidly as it has, the United States urges all citizens to be extra cautious. An infectious disease with so much mystery surrounding it is a very dangerous thing indeed.