Since the first case of the new COVID-19 was recorded in Wuhan, China, it has gradually crept into more than thirty other countries. At first, citizens in Asian countries like South Korea and Japan were infected, and subsequently, reports of infected persons in Italy and the United Kingdom were recorded as well. Also, with documented coronavirus cases in the USA, the question now is, is coronavirus in the USA?
Known as COVID-19, coronavirus currently rocks the Middle East and European countries. However, the cases of infected people recorded in the United States has kept US health agencies on their toes. Government agencies and different health organizations are relentlessly working out possible solutions. A major concern is how to ensure that the vast spread of the virus in some other parts of the world is not replicated in the country.
Sadly, the fears are mounting as there is no proven cure for the virus. While commenting on the state of things in the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci frantically noted:
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I think we would expect something similar to that because we don't have an antiviral drug. The people who are dying who require intensive care, for example in an intensive care unit -- maybe even intubation for respiratory assistance in breathing -- the Chinese have that.
They have a pretty good system, and yet you're still seeing the 2% mortality. ... So if, in fact, we do get a pandemic that does impact us in this country, I think you're going to see comparable types of morbidity and mortality.
What is the coronavirus infection?
It is a new type of coronavirus that leads to respiratory illness in people. The first case was recorded in Wuhan, China, and since that, it has continued to spread to other countries of the world. The virus was initially identified in December 2019. Regrettably, across the globe, thousands of lives have been lost to the virus, and more than 80,000 cases have been confirmed since its outbreak.
Unfortunately, there is still little information about how the virus spreads. Most of the opinions projected by researchers are based on other similar coronaviruses like MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Like the two diseases, which have occurred in the past, it is believed that the causal virus is a betacoronavirus that evolved from bats.
Where has the coronavirus spread in America?
Alex Azar, the US Secretary for Health and Human Services, revealed that there are 60 patients already diagnosed with the virus. Based on reports, coronavirus in USA map shows that thirteen are from Nebraska, eight are from California, six from Texas, four from Washington, two from Illinois, and one from Arizona, and Wisconsin. The location of the rest is yet to be confirmed.
At first, all the reported cases were from a cruise ship that landed in Asia. So many individuals and groups from different parts of the world were present on the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, and out of the thousands that tested positive to the virus, 42 of them were Americans.
Three US citizens living in Wuhan, China, were repatriated, and all of them had the virus, making a total figure of 45 citizens. The remaining 15 cases live in the US. According to the US CDC, twelve of these cases were travel-related with Wuhan.
Two of those fifteen cases are person-person but also connected to Wuhan. However, one case, which is now the cause of many concerns, is unrelated to Wuhan. Experts have hinted on a possible effect of community spread because there is no source.
The first COVID-19 community spread in the US?
Out of the 60 COVID-19 cases in the USA, one of them shows no travel history or relationship with people from China or affected zones. According to the CDC, the infected person resides in Solano County, California. The California Public Health system was the first to diagnose the patient. Right now, the person is being treated in the capital city, Sacramento.
The term ‘community spread’ connotes that the source of the disease is unidentified, even as it spreads around the community. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there has never been anything called community spread in the country.
How is coronavirus treated?
Out of the 60 cases, seven have fully recovered. Three are from California, the two cases in Illinois recovered, and one from Washington and Arizona are also confirmed.
No vaccine is available for treating the virus currently, but the US has started testing a particular drug on infected patients. The National Institutes of Health revealed that Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, is being tested on infected individuals in America.
During the Ebola infection, Remdesivir had been tested, and it was also used on animals that had SARS and MERS infections. The clinical trial is already ongoing in China, and those who have been infected at the Medical Center of the University of Nebraska will also have the drug administered on them.
Donald Trump’s Press Conference on the virus
Donald Trump, the President of the US, had initially referred to the virus as ‘a problem that’s going to go away.’ However, in his speech on the 26th of February 2020, Trump believes his administration has ‘done a great job’ in reducing the effect of the disease on Americans. He appointed VP Mike Pence to be in charge of everything about coronavirus in the US.
Contrarily to what the President said, a staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, while commenting noted:
We're going to be, again, preparing as if this is going to continue, preparing as if we're going to see community spread in the near-term. But I'm always going to be hopeful that disease will decline either for the summer, or that we'll be over-prepared and that we won't see this kind of high levels of transmission here in the US.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus in humans?
It is wrong to compare COVID-19 to common flu. However, the symptoms are similar. If you are infected, you would first notice regular symptoms of cold, like cough, sore throat, and runny nose. The coronavirus disease 2019 results in a medium to a severe illness of the upper respiratory tract. Therefore, the symptoms can persist for days. Young or aging people could be hit with diseases like pneumonia due to their vulnerable immune system.
The ideal way to avert being infected by the virus is to avoid the infected ones. You should not touch their faces, and if you do, try to wash your hands with water and soap thoroughly or apply alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your hands.
However, it is wrong to stigmatize the infected ones. In some cases, the symptoms disappear without any medical attention. Nevertheless, it is essential to seek professional help if you are experiencing something worse than a typical cold.
So, is coronavirus in USA? The obvious answer is yes. As you now know, cases of infected people have been recorded in the country. But then, while everyone is encouraged to prepare for its outbreak in the country, the CDC is still working with major stakeholders to look for a lasting solution to the continuous spread of the virus.