Symptoms, mortality rate, health measures, progress in medical research … find here a maximum of elements of response concerning the epidemic of Chinese coronavirus COVID-19 (ex 2019-nCoV), as it evolves and the latest information is known.
Is the virus contagious? How to protect yourself from it? Like all epidemics of an unknown virus, the current epidemic of Wuhan coronavirus or COVID-19 (ex “2019-nCoV”), a virus similar to that of SARS, raises many concerns and questions.
- 1 How many people have been affected by this coronavirus?
- 2 What are the causes and origins of the virus?
- 3 The evolution of the epidemic, how many people infected and dead?
- 4 What are the health effects of this coronavirus? How is the infection declared?
- 5 What measures have been put in place to combat the epidemic?
- 6 The situation in Wuhan and more generally in China
- 7 News of the international epidemic (Thailand, Canada, USA, Belgium, etc.)
The epidemic of the COVID-19 virus (formerly 2019-nCoV) or Wuhan coronavirus is said to have started in early December 2019, in the city of Wuhan, China. The first infected people are said to have visited the town’s fish market, which sells a wide variety of foods and wild animals. On February 11, the World Health Organization officially renamed this COVID-19 virus to “Coronavirus Disease 2019”. The disease it causes has also been named: SARS-CoV-2 (echoing the first epidemic of SARS-CoV in the 2000s).
The alert was said to have been initially launched by doctors in Wuhan a few days before initial action was taken. The latter was then arrested by the authorities for “spreading rumors”. One of them – Li Weilang – is believed to have died from a coronavirus infection. An investigation has been opened into the matter by the Chinese authorities.
What are the causes and origins of the virus?
Therefore, the virus before transmitting to humans must have been of animal origin. The most likely hypothesis is that of the horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus sp.), A proven vector of the SARS coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome), very close to COVID-19. Chinese researchers have discovered the identity of the virus’s intermediate host or “reservoir”: the animal transmitted the virus to humans after being infected with the vector species.
According to their genomic analyses, it is a species of pangolin, the most poached animal in the world and one of the most endangered, possibly sold at the Wuhan market. As a result of this discovery (still to be validated by the scientific world), the Chinese government has banned the sale or transport of wild animals until further notice.
The evolution of the epidemic, how many people infected and dead?
Since then, the current toll [as of Tuesday 18/02/2020] officially amounts to more than 1,800 victims, including one in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and France, and more than 73 000 people known to be infected worldwide.
The first case of contamination was noted Friday, February 14 on the African continent, in Egypt. The epidemic could be reached its peak at the end of February. As a recent Chinese study, only a third of those infected were physically passed through Wuhan.
In China, the number of dead and sick people officially exceeded that caused by the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic. From the report of Hong Kong researchers, the actual number may be significantly higher when counting infected people who are still symptom-free.
12 of the people affected by the coronavirus are in France. Of the six British citizens infected at the Les Contamines-Montjoie ski resort, only four are still hospitalized. They were allegedly infected by a man from Singapore and then returned to the United Kingdom. A twelfth, an octogenarian Chinese tourist, died this weekend.
People who were infected while not traveling to China have been confirmed in France, Thailand, the United States, Germany, Japan, and Vietnam. These individuals have been in contact with people from China or directly from Wuhan. A person, in a French repatriation flight in progress, would present symptoms of viral pneumonia. It will be quarantined upon arrival.
Several dozen people are said to have recovered from the infection in China. Several hundred people have recovered from the infection since the start of the epidemic in China. Two passengers on a Hong Kong-Italy flight are said to be sick with the virus and may have infected several people. The number of people who have recovered from the infection has now largely surpassed the number of deaths since the start of the epidemic.
COVID-19 is a virus very similar to the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic. It causes a high fever, a severe cough as well as great fatigue. According to scientific experts from The Lancet, dyspnea, or respiratory distress, seems to be a characteristic complication in a large part of the patients. This disease is spread through close contact with an infected person or through their postlets when coughing or sneezing.
According to a new Chinese study, some infected patients may have traces of the virus in their digestive tract but also in saliva and urine. In addition, according to these researchers, the incubation period could actually last longer: 24 days rather than fourteen. According to current Chinese data, the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 3% – which is lower than the 10% rate for SARS coronavirus and about 30% for that of MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), appeared in 2012. The speed of its spread is nevertheless much higher: COVID-19 took only 48 days to infect 1000 people.
According to a new Lancet study, this viral pneumonia is found mainly in the elderly or with underlying pathologies, in particular heart disease. It hardly affects children under 15 years of age.
What measures have been put in place to combat the epidemic?
The World Health Organization (WHO) now officially considers the epidemic as a “public health emergency of international concern”. She worries that the epidemic will spread to “countries with weaker health systems”. The WHO says limiting travel to China would be counterproductive: it could encourage illegal travel and thus facilitate the spread of the epidemic. In addition, the organization certifies that the situation does not have to be qualified as “pandemic”.
The WHO recently confirmed the “global shortage of personal protection,” including protective masks. However, she says that she regularly sends medical kits, gowns, gloves, and masks to many medical teams around the world. The WHO said the number of infections has stabilized but is not yet certain that the peak of the epidemic has passed. The WHO said the number of infections has stabilized but is not yet certain that the peak of the epidemic has passed. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the WHO, said stopping the epidemic in China is “a big emergency” but that the virus remains a “very big threat” around the world.
The situation in Wuhan and more generally in China
The Chinese government has placed more than a dozen communities under quarantine – tens of millions of people. New municipalities have been confined (notably the one where the online sales company, Alibaba) is located. The latter only allows one person per household to go out once every two days to do their shopping.
Macau, a famous coastal city, has closed its casinos. The start of the second school semester has been postponed for all children and students in the country. Over 2,000 train trips have been canceled. Hong Kong blocks all trains from mainland China.
In the midst of the New Year, China also banned travel agencies from selling packages for domestic and overseas journeys. Toyota, the Japanese automaker, has closed several of its factories in China. In addition, several accesses to national monuments are now closed: several sections of the Great Wall of China, the Ming tomb and the pagoda forest. In Shanghai, the Disneyland amusement park has closed its doors. The ski World Cup stop in China has been officially canceled.
The Chinese government has ordered the emergency construction of two hospitals near Wuhan to accommodate 2,500 COVID-19 patients. The first one opened on February 3. The second opened this Thursday, February 6. In parallel to this epidemic, China has announced the appearance of avian flu, H5N1, in a province south of Wuhan. Several thousand poultry have been slaughtered, but no human cases have been reported to date.
A hotline, intended for foreign nationals, has been set up in China. The Beijing Formula 1 Grand Prix has been postponed until April. The Chinese government has set up a system allowing its citizens to detect whether or not they have been in contact with a sick person. The Chinese government has exempted certain medical equipment from customs duties in order to supply it to help fight the epidemic.
News of the international epidemic (Thailand, Canada, USA, Belgium, etc.)
Australia is said to have quarantined the Chinese women’s football team. She would have arrived after a stopover in Wuhan. Asian Champions League matches including Chinese clubs have been reported.
Russia, which has two cases of infected people, says it will close its borders with China until further notice. She warns that she says she is ready to expel “foreigners carrying the virus”. President Vladimir Putin’s security would require measuring the temperature of everyone near him. In a Russian city on the border with China, wearing a surgical mask has become compulsory for traders and other trades in contact with the public.
The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Iraq, Israel, and the Philippines have banned foreigners who have recently visited China from entering their territory. The Overwatch video game esports competition scheduled for China in the coming months has been canceled. They will take place in South Korea.
For the sake of “health protection”, anti-doping tests for Chinese athletes scheduled to participate in the Tokyo Olympics have been canceled.
Google has ceased operations on site until further notice and electronics manufacturer LG has banned its employees from traveling to China.
Italy, presenting two cases of contamination, declared a state of emergency and banned all flights from or to China.
Chinese wrestlers, participants in the Asian Championship in New Delhi, have been banned from entering Indian territory. The shooting of the film Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Empire, which was to take place in China in a few months, has been canceled.
In Mexico, VTC company Uber has suspended dozens of accounts following suspected contamination from one of its users. A Formula E car race, scheduled for March in China, has been postponed. South Korean automaker Hyundai has been forced to halt production due to a shortage of parts from China. Several factories producing iPhones are currently closed in China. According to Apple, the shortage caused by these prolonged closings will impact its “global revenue”. In addition, many Apple Stores remain closed in China.
Still, in the tech world, several companies like LG, Ericsson, Sony, Amazon, and NVIDIA will not be attending the big Barcelona mobile world congress this month. The Swedish Ericsson also renounces to participate. Finally, the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship, was quarantined off Yokohama, Japan, because more than 500 (including 88 new cases) of the four thousand people on board (including staff) are said to be contaminated. iPhones were allegedly provided to them to keep them informed. Several countries wish to extirpate their nationals. Another boat in Hong Kong is stopped and its passengers forced to remain confined. His quarantine should end on February 19.
In Cambodia, thousands of passengers and crew members disembarked from the liner Westerdam are wanted after an American passenger contracted the disease. Her infection was only confirmed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when she attempted to fly home.
The UK – which has identified four new cases – sees the epidemic as a “serious and imminent threat”. The British government has stepped up preventive measures: medical authorities can now force a patient to stay in confinement until further notice without the possibility of him being released from quarantine. Two women’s golf tournaments have been canceled in Singapore and Thailand. Airbnb has suspended all possible bookings in the city of Beijing until the end of April. General Motors’ offices and factories in South Korea have temporarily closed. Japan has banned the public from participating in the birthday of the new emperor, Naruhito, on February 23.
In Paris, the annual Chinese New Year parade has been postponed for health reasons but also to avoid “risks of psychosis”. The Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs plan to repatriate several Franco-Chinese families to France. 350 Europeans and 250 French were repatriated last week. Despite initial suspicions, no Frenchman returned from China in this way would be sick.
A Belgian, repatriated to his country by one of the French flights, is nevertheless said to be infected. Only “healthy or asymptomatic people” will be repatriated and will be quarantined for 14 days. Several of them do not wish to, given the quarantine required upon their arrival in the territory. 35 new French people have been repatriated.
The United Kingdom, which announced its first two cases of contamination, is currently trying to do the same for its nationals in Wuhan. 18 South Koreans recently repatriated to their country are sick. The first American repatriation flight arrived in Alaska today. Canadians have recently been repatriated to a military base in their country.
China, meanwhile, is trying to repatriate stranded Chinese tourists to Bali. Airlines British Airways, LionAir, and Lufthansa have suspended all flights to mainland China. AirFrance did the same, until March 15. United Airlines, Finnair and Cathay Pacific have simply reduced their numbers. AirFrance has not yet changed its plans. Ditto today, for many countries in the Middle East. Hong Kong Airlines, struggling due to the epidemic and the cancellation of numerous flights, is forced to lay off hundreds of people.
In addition, in Paris, the Bichat and Pitié-Salpêtrière hospitals each have seven specialized containment rooms. As part of the French municipal campaign, Agnès Buzin resigned from her status as Minister of Health to devote herself to it. His successor, neurologist Olivier Véran, will hold a crisis meeting this Tuesday, February 18.