Unknown Illness Turned Epidemic


Clara Cianfarano

Wuhan, China is where the Novel (new) Coronavirus is suspected to have started (Photo courtesy of Clara Cianfarano).

The Coronavirus is very uncommon in humans, mainly found in animals. However, scientists have found a new strand of the virus that is specifically prone to humans called the Novel (new) Coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, never before seen. It was first found in Wuhan, China and it has caused a major outbreak, spreading far outside that city. There have been thousands of cases reported and more cases are being reported daily. 

“China has poor health conditions,” said Mauldin High School junior Kaylee Maurer.

From intense investigation, scientists began to determine that the Novel Coronavirus started in a seafood market in the city of Wuhan in the province of Humbei, China. However, new information has surfaced, showing that those being diagnosed were not visiting the market often at all. Therefore, they believe the market cannot be the only cause of the outbreak of the disease. Researchers are still working to figure out a certain cause and place of the outbreak.

“I think they will be able to tell the difference, like with the flu we already have vaccines and stuff that can help. If they don’t work, the illness progresses to get worse. I think it would be clear that they might have the Coronavirus,” said freshman Ava Cianfarano.

Both the Coronavirus and the flu are respiratory illnesses so it can get a little tricky seeing the difference between the two. Common symptoms for the flu are fever, coughing, sore throat, and a few more basic symptoms. The Coronavirus includes the same symptoms with shortness of breath added to the list. When the Flu grows to be worse than a two-week illness, then pneumonia may develop. If this was to develop, then you may need to be a little more worried, visit the doctor with even more concern, and be on the lookout for the Coronavirus.  

“I think that a 14-day quarantine is enough because it gives the virus time to come to the surface and make itself evident if it is present,” said sophomore Austin Jones.

This new virus has gradually grown into an epidemic. Not only has it spread throughout China, but it has found its way to other countries, including the United States. Individuals returning back to the States from China are forced to enter a fourteen-day quarantine and undergo many tests for the Novel Coronavirus. This is resulting from safety and health measures to protect Americans from contracting the virus and it entering into our society, causing an even bigger outbreak.

As of January 21, 2020, scientists and doctors have conducted research and diagnosed the following in regards to the Novel Coronavirus in the United States:

  • Number of individuals found…
    • Positive with the virus: 15
    • Negative for the virus: 392
    • Undetermined/pending: 60
  • In total there have been 467 people who have been under investigation for contraction of the Novel Coronavirus.

“It spreads quickly because it’s a virus [that] antibiotics don’t fix and there is no vaccine. The only thing that can really prevent it is a strong immune system,” said Maurer.

So far there is no cure or treatment for the new deadly virus. As symptoms arise, doctors plan to treat those in hope that it may keep the individuals from developing the illness. On February 11, 2020, they have gathered the following information involving the Coronavirus:

  • Cases: 75,305
  • Deaths: 2,013
  • Recovered: 15,126

“I think it is spreading so rapidly because humans interact with so many people. And say if someone who did not know they had it, went and shook hands with a lot of people, or coughed on a lot of people… they would have caused a bunch of people to be at risk. All the people just trying to help those infected are at risk, causing a lot more to get infected,” said Cianfarano.