The Novel Coronavirus is currently spreading rapidly throughout Asia, originating in Wuhan. Researchers believe it emerged from illegally trading wildlife at a seafood market. Most coronaviruses come from animals like bats, camels, and snakes when a human ingests or comes in contact with their saliva. As of March 5th, there are over 100,000 confirmed cases worldwide, according to John Hopkins, but only 231 in the US; at least one case of the virus has been reported in 21 countries. This virus is shockingly much easier to contract than people realize because it’s a respiratory illness. Many colleges are canceling their study abroad programs and bringing students home from places like Italy and Spain to prevent the spreading of the virus. In Japan, they canceled school for the next month due to the rapid spread.
According to The New York Times, respiratory illnesses “travel through the air, enveloped in tiny droplets that are produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes” and after they breathe the droplets quickly drop to the ground after a few feet. There are now four confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Florida and governor Desantis just announced that we are in a state of emergency. The people at most risk are health officials caring for these patients due to the close contact but there are plenty of precautions people cake take to prevent from picking up the infectious pathogen. You can prevent contracting this illness and many others by washing your hands whenever necessary and not sharing drinks with others. Fun fact, you should wash your hands for twenty seconds which is equivalent to singing Happy Birthday twice. Make sure if you are sick to stay home, avoid touching your face and stay away from sick people. The Palm Beach School District will be taking precautions in order to keep students safe including enhanced cleaning protocols for the classrooms and cafeterias. There are currently no vaccines to protect the public against this disease so taking basic precautions can prevent contracting viruses.
Disclaimer: Information on the Wuhan Coronavirus is still developing and changing.