20 years ago, Southern China got affected by a deadly virus which spread like a wildfire in the Chinese wildlife market. The infection caused by the virus was unlike anything that was earlier experienced or seen by the world before.
In the freezing winter of 2003, thousands of people in the country suddenly fell sick, complaining of dry coughs, headache, fever and chills! The symptoms were similar to that of a regular cold and flu, but sadly it was not. The condition in the country worsened with time. The affected people who believed were suffering from flu, experienced more severe health conditions that were similar to a more lethal form of pneumonia. The disease left huge holes the size of honey-comb in the lungs of the patients, causing respiratory failure. Almost a quarter of the patients infected by the deadly virus suffered from the respiratory failure. The infection soon spread across the country causing an epidemic leading to the death of 800 people across 32 countries and almost 8000 noted cases of the disease. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ended almost 7 months after it was first detected.
ABOUT THE NEW CORONAVIRUS
With the large number of lives lost during its last outbreak, the international health officials are now a little more concerned about the new Coronavirus that has again emerged but this time in Central China. It is believed that the disease has spread across the major Chinese Cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing and also its neighboring countries that include South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. What is more scaring is that the disease spread across the countries in just 3 weeks’ time.
The first case of the disease was recently reported in Washington State, USA by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nancy Messonnier, the director of National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said in an interview that it is not known yet about how the virus is spreading across the world. Hence, in order to know more about the deadly virus, tests are being performed and researched to learn more about the deadly disease and the virus.
According to World Health Organization, 300 cases of the infection have been reported, while 6 deaths have been confirmed in China.
Epidemiologists, however think that there are more than a thousand cases that have not been yet reported. The CDC announced last week that screening tests for the new coronavirus will be performed on all major US airports for free on the patients arriving in the country.
CAUSE OF SARS
Apparently, it is believed that the disease is caused due to wildlife trade which is not at all surprising. SARS and many other similar diseases such as HIV, H5N1 influenza and Ebola are examples of diseases that are spread from animals to humans.
Nearly 40% of the people who were first diagnosed with the disease are the people who either prepared the food or handled the animals and killed the wild animals for meat. The first episode of the disease was seen in people who live around or near the wildlife markets. If the wildlife market is closed, these kinds of viral outbreaks could have been stopped for good.
The first outbreak of the SARS disease was reported on 31st December 2019. The report connected the Wuhan City seafood market with the disease. There was a video that was recorded showing raccoon dogs and wild deer being held in cages in the market.