Tag Archives: News

Latest News: Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans.

The risk of getting the illness in the UK is low.

Advice to travellers returning from China and specified areas

If you have returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province in the last 14 days:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people
  • call NHS 111 to tell them of your recent travel to the city

If you’re in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.

Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

If you get a cough, a high temperature, or you feel short of breath, continue to follow this advice. Do not leave your house.

What is the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.

Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus

Symptoms usually include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • feeling short of breath

How is coronavirus spread between people?

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets.

How to avoid catching and spreading germs

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • If you have arrived back from China or specified areas in the last 14 days, follow the advice on this page for returning travellers.

Treatment for coronavirus

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms.

SOURCE = NHS

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Summary

Updated February 7, 2020

CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported tens of thousands of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in parts of that country. Infections with 2019-nCoV, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States. Some person-to-person spread of this virus outside China has been detected. The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020.

On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concernexternal icon” (PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to 2019-nCoV. Also on January 31, the President of the United States signed a presidential “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirusexternal icon“. These measures were announced at a press briefing by members of the President’s Coronavirus Task Forceexternal icon.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with 2019-nCoV.

Source and Spread of the Virus

Chinese health authorities were the first to post the full genome of the 2019-nCoV in GenBankexternal icon, the NIH genetic sequence database, and in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAIDexternal icon) portal, an action which has facilitated detection of this virus. CDC is posting the full genome of the 2019-nCoV viruses detected in U.S. patients to GenBank as sequencing is completed.

2019-nCoV is a betacoronavirus, like MERS and SARs, both of which have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.

Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. Person-to-person spread has been reported outside China, including in the United States and other countries. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

Situation in U.S.

Imported cases of 2019-nCoV infection in travelers have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV also has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.

The U.S. government has taken unprecedented stepsexternal icon related to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus, including suspending entry in the United States of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days. Measures to detect this virus among those who are allowed entry into the United States (U.S. citizens, residents and family) who have been in China within 14 days also are being implemented.

SOURCE = CDC

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

Coronavirus: Brighton GP practice closes after staff member tests positive

February 10, 2020

A GP practice in Brighton has been temporarily closed after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus. Patients at the city’s County Oak medical centre have been advised to contact the NHS 111 phone service if they have concerns. Two of the eight people diagnosed in the UK are understood to be GPs. The Department of Health has called the virus a “serious and imminent threat” to public health, but the overall risk to the population is “moderate”. However, the risk to individuals is low, the department said. A school in Southampton has also closed over concerns about the virus. St Mary’s Independent School said the “precautionary” three-day closure came after “members of the school community” became ill, having recently travelled to China. Brackley Medical Centre in Northamptonshire was also closed as a precautionary measure, but later reopened.

There have been more than 40,000 cases of the virus globally, mostly in China. The total number of deaths in China is now 908. Four new UK cases were announced on Monday – taking the total number of people infected in the UK to eight. Two of the new cases are understood to be GPs – one of whom works at the County Oak medical centre. A sign put up at the surgery said it had been closed “for extensive cleaning as a precautionary measure” and would be open as soon as possible, hopefully on Tuesday afternoon. One of the eight UK cases is a British man who caught the virus at a conference in Singapore and travelled to a ski resort in France. He was diagnosed in Brighton, and is being treated at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. He has been linked to five of the other cases.

SOURCE = BBC News

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

Three Scenarios For The Coronavirus

February 9, 2020

China’s new coronavirus may peter out. Or it might join the flu on the roster of the world’s winter illnesses — a bug that will be routinely vaccinated against. Or it might become a global pandemic, killing millions of people. Experts don’t have enough information to predict which of these very different scenarios will come to pass. So for now, they are cautious. “The issue is, we don’t know. And any sort of prediction would be ill-advised,” said the director of National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Disease, Anthony Fauci, at a Friday briefing by the presidential task force on coronavirus. “You really do prepare for the worst possible scenario.”

“We are at the blind-men-feeling-the-elephant stage of this outbreak,” epidemiologist David Fisman of the University of Toronto told BuzzFeed News. “We obviously have people feeling the virus from different angles right now, and we need to see the whole elephant.”

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV reports began at the start of the year with 41 cases in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, tied to visitors to a now-shuttered seafood market. As of Sunday, there were 37,592 reported cases of the virus, with 99% of those in China, and 814 deaths, the vast majority of those in Hubei province, home to Wuhan. But cases have also cropped up in 28 other countries or territories, including one death in the Philippines and 69 cases on a Japanese cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, anchored outside Yokohama.

“It’s hard to believe that just two months ago, this virus was unknown to us,” said World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday, explaining what still isn’t known about the 2019-nCoV: its true origin, how contagious it is, and how deadly. “To put it bluntly: We’re shadow-boxing.”

Those unknowns mean that there’s a wide array of possible outcomes for the outbreak, ranging from a contained event like the 2003 outbreak of SARS (a closely related coronavirus that killed 774 people and spread to a dozen countries) to a seasonal increase in pneumonia among the elderly worldwide, to a widespread pandemic resembling the 1918 flu outbreak that killed at least 50 million people.

SOURCE = BuzzFeed News

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

China hid the severity of its coronavirus outbreak and muzzled whistleblowers — because it can

February 10, 2020

Nearly six weeks after China announced the coronavirus outbreak, there’s still a surprising amount we don’t know about this newly discovered disease. But one thing is becoming clear: China’s silence in the earliest days of the crisis may have made it worse. Chinese authorities delayed informing the world about the severity of a deadly disease spreading within the country’s borders — even trying to muzzle whistleblowers, like the late Dr. Li Wenliang. Now hailed as a national hero, Li was forced on January 3 by police to sign a letter saying he spread “untrue speech” for warning colleagues about the virus that eventually took his life. With more than 40,500 people infected and 910 deaths, China’s missteps early on seem increasingly fateful.

The fact that the international community has not acknowledged those missteps is also consequential. On Friday, President Trump applauded China. “They’re working really hard and I think they’re doing a very professional job,” Trump told ABC News. Meanwhile, the leading global health body, the World Health Organization, has stayed mum about China’s blunders — and is drawing criticism for failing to publicly criticize the country and creating “a false sense of security” about an emerging health crisis. But the reality is this: China’s mishandling and the ensuing silence from the international community is emblematic of how the global system governing the international response to pandemics fails to work, half a dozen global health experts told Vox.

SOURCE = VOX

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

Coronavirus: All you need to know about symptoms and risks

Feburary 10, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency over a new coronavirus that has killed at least 908 people following an outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Almost 40,500 cases have been reported worldwide, most of them in China’s Hubei province. A US citizen died in Wuhan on February 6, while the Japanese Foreign Ministry reported that a Japanese man “suspected of being infected” with the virus has also died in Wuhan on February 8.

What is coronavirus?

According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). These viruses were originally transmitted between animals and people. SARS, for instance, was transmitted from civet cats to humans while MERS travelled to humans from a type of camel. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, the image of the virus looks like a solar corona. The novel coronavirus, identified by Chinese authorities on January 7 and named 2019-nCoV, is a new strain that had not been previously identified in humans. Little is known about it, although human-to-human transmission has been confirmed.

What are the symptoms?

According to the WHO, signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, SARS, kidney failure and even death. The incubation period of the coronavirus remains unknown. Some sources say it could be between 10 and 14 days. Infected patients can also be asymptomatic, meaning they do not display any of the symptoms above, despite having the virus in their systems.

SOURCE = AlJazeera

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

Coronavirus: a quick guide to the outbreak sweeping the world

February 11, 2020

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans but most just cause cold-like symptoms. Two coronaviruses – Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) – are much more severe, having killed more than 1,500 people between them since 2002. The new virus, named 2019-nCoV, is also dangerous. So far, around 20 per cent of confirmed cases have been classed as “severe” and the current death rate stands at about two per cent. This is much lower than fatality rates for Mers (30 per cent) and Sars (10 per cent) but still a significant threat.

How many people have been affected so far?

The new virus is spreading fast and there are eight confirmed cases in the UK. More than 40,500 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak started and more than 1,000 people have died. The vast majority of cases are in China but the virus has spread to 28 other countries. The Philippines was the first country outside China to report a death related from the virus. The Department of Health said a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted on January 25 after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat. He developed severe pneumonia and later died. The disease, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms, has forced Beijing to quarantine some 18 major cities, essentially locking down more than 56 million people.

What’s the position in the UK?

Four more patients in England have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight. The new cases are thought to be linked to a British man who caught the virus at a conference in Singapore and stopped at a ski resort in France before returning to the UK. The patients are currently undergoing treatment at specialist NHS centres at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the Royal Free hospitals in London.

SOURCE = The Telegraph

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

Ask the Know-It-Alls: What Is a Coronavirus?

February 7, 2020

Q: What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of hundreds of viruses that can cause fever, respiratory problems, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms too. The 2019 novel coronavirus, which is probably why you’re reading this right now, is one of seven members of this family known to infect humans, and the third in the past three decades to jump from animals to humans. A pneumonia-like disease, the 2019 novel coronavirus has caused a global health emergency, sickened more than 31,000 people worldwide, and killed nearly 650 so far. Coronaviruses are divided into four genera: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. These little invaders are zoonotic, meaning they can spread between animals and humans; gamma and delta coronaviruses mostly infect birds, while alpha and beta mostly reside in mammals.

Q: Where did the 2019 novel coronavirus come from and how does it spread?

The first cases were identified at the tail end of 2019 in Wuhan, the capital city of China’s Hubei province, when hospitals started seeing patients with severe pneumonia. Like MERS and SARS, the 2019 novel coronavirus appears to have originated in bats, but it’s not clear how the virus jumped from bats to humans or where the first infections occurred. Often, pathogens journey through an intermediary “animal reservoir”—bats infect the animals, and humans come into contact with some product from that animal. That could be milk or undercooked meat, or even mucus, urine, or feces. For example, MERS moved to humans through camels, and SARS came through civet cats sold at a live animal market in Guangzhou, China.

Scientists don’t know why some coronaviruses have made that jump but others haven’t. It may be that the viruses haven’t made it to animals that humans interact with, or that the viruses don’t have the right spike proteins so they can’t attach to our cells. It’s also possible that these jumps happen more often than anyone realizes, but they don’t cause serious reactions, so no one notices.

SOURCE = Wired

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

China to Spend $10 Billion, WHO Team Heads to Asia: Virus Update

February 9, 2020

China is spending at least $10 billion to control the coronavirus outbreak and reaching out for medical supplies as the first wave of international experts heads to the disease’s epicenter. A cruise ship in Japan with 70 victims has the most infections outside China. Another exhibitor quits an industry event in Barcelona. Scientists modeling the virus in Wuhan predict infections may peak this month. The illness has now killed more people than SARS.

Key Developments

  • Wuhan cases may be close to peak, study says
  • European spread raises concern of Singaporean super spreader
  • Japan finds six more coronavirus cases on cruise ship
  • Singapore confirms new cases, pushes total to 43
  • China’s central bank to provide special re-lending funds for combating the virus Monday
  • Hong Kong cruise ship can let 3,600 disembark
  • Mainland China deaths reach 813; confirmed cases at 37,198

Bloomberg is tracking the outbreak on the terminal and online.

SOURCE = Bloomberg

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

Coronavirus exposes fundamental flaws in China’s economic growth model, and Beijing cannot fix it

February 11, 2020

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has killed over 1,000 people and infected over 40,000, has exposed fundamental flaws in China’s governance system and its growth model – the excessive concentration of power, information and resources in the hands of a powerful state. But given the path of China’s political and economic evolution, it is difficult for China to loosen its grip on power as a response to so-called black swan events such as the coronavirus. The most likely outcome is that Beijing will continue to strengthen centralised control, which in turn is a greater threat to China’s prospects than the virus itself. When it is done right, a centralised political system means the government can deliver positives such as rapid economic growth, but it also make it possible for the government to place emphasis on the wrong things, which has the potential to lead to uncertainty and even disaster for society.

There is precedent that China tends to enhance centralisation as the solution to a problem that has stemmed from over control. The “new normal” concept, which was adopted by the state in 2014, dissociated the political legitimacy of the Chinese government from economic growth, therefore reducing the pressure on local Chinese authorities to deliver. And while the concept had the good intention of seeking high quality growth, it has, in reality, made the local authorities less friendly to the private sector. To achieve high economic growth, local governments have had to free up market forces and allow the private sector to thrive, but without the pressure, they do not have the incentive to conduct the necessary political and economic liberalisations to entertain private investors.

As a result, the central government is increasingly reliant on state-owned enterprises and state money to maintain social stability and to deliver environmental improvement, while the private economy is gradually marginalised and local autonomy is weakened. Many private business owners in China have noticed a change that they are not welcomed or loved in a “the state control all” system, as China has suffered huge capital outflows as many wealthy Chinese people, and even the urban middle class, have scrambled to move money out of the country. On the other side of the coin, private investment at home has plummeted.

SOURCE = South China Morning Post

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

13th American diagnosed with coronavirus as death toll tops 1,000 in China

February 11, 2020

A 13th American was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Monday as the death toll in China topped an ominous 1,000 with health officials struggling to contain the epidemic. The Chinese Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that 1,016 people have died in China with the death toll crossing 100 in a day for the first time. There were 108 deaths Monday, including 103 in Hubei province, where the disease first emerged. The ministry said 42,638 people in China have been infected and 319 outside of China, including 12 new cases in the past day.

The American tested positive for coronavirus in San Diego, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson confirmed to ABC News Monday evening. The person who tested positive had arrived from China on the first evacuation flight to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The flight landed at the military base on Feb. 5 and the passengers were to be quarantined for 14 days.

Four patients under observation, who had previously tested negative, were taken for further testing Monday morning, with one now testing positive, the CDC said. Another patient taken to UC San Diego Health still has test results pending. Both patients were “doing well and have minimal symptoms,” the CDC said. There had been 12 previously confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin. The CDC has shipped newly approved coronavirus tests to labs across the country so states can begin their own diagnostic testing instead of shipping all samples to the agency’s headquarters in Atlanta.

The last confirmed case of coronavirus in the United States had been Feb. 5 in Wisconsin. Britain’s health department declared novel coronavirus “a serious and imminent threat” on Monday and put new quarantine restrictions in place in an attempt to delay or stop the virus’ spread. Effective immediately, any individual public health professionals consider to be at risk for spreading coronavirus will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. Those restrictions only apply in England.

SOURCE = ABC News

———————————————————————————————

———————————————————————————————

#Russian military take control of #Crimea, #Ukraine

bbc

Ukraine crisis: Obama warns Russia against intervention

March 1, 2014

US President Barack Obama has warned Russia there will be “costs” for any military intervention in Ukraine. He said he was deeply concerned by reports of Russian military movements inside the country. Ukraine’s acting president has accused Russia of deploying troops to Crimea and trying to provoke Kiev into “armed conflict”.

Russia’s UN ambassador said any troop movements in Crimea were within an existing arrangement with Ukraine. Speaking from the White House, President Obama commended Ukraine’s interim government for its “restraint”. “Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilising, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe,” he said.

“It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine – and of international laws.” He added: “Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And, indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.” Mr Obama did not spell out what any US response might be. However, the BBC’s Beth McLeod in Washington says the US is considering exerting economic pressure by withholding the deeper trade ties that Moscow seeks. It is also considering boycotting a G8 summit hosted by Russia, she adds, although that is not until June. In a TV address on Friday, Ukraine’s interim President Oleksander Turchynov said Moscow wanted the new government to react to provocations so it could annex Crimea. He appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop provocations and start negotiations”.

He said Russia was behaving as it did before sending troops into Georgia in 2008 over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which have large ethnic Russian populations. “They are implementing the scenario like the one carried out in Abkhazia, when after provoking a conflict, they started an annexation of the territory,” Mr Turchynov said. Armed men in unidentified military uniforms have moved in on Crimea’s parliament, state television building and telecommunication centres. They have also been patrolling airports in the Crimean capital, Simferopol, and Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is based.

Source = BBC News

—————————————

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING