B1 Intermediate US 422 Folder Collection
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This is likely one of the words we've heard the most so far in 2020: "Coronavirus".
And it is no wonder, as this disease has been at the front of all the news outlets around
the world. Thus, it's no surprise for people to ask: Where did the virus originate, and
how is it affecting people?
The coronavirus is a family of viruses which usually only affects animals, but sometimes
can mutate and affect human beings. This is what happened on December 2019 in the market
of Wuhan, China, a city with a population of eleven million people. A week later it
was confirmed that a new strain of the disease had formed, provisionally named 2019-nCoV.
It all started like a normal flu. In fact, the symptoms are very similar to other diseases:
runny nose, coughing or a sore throat. It's so similar to a common respiratory disease
that without a full analysis it's practically impossible
to distinguish it from a common cold.
But then the infected victims started to develop fevers and respiratory issues, such as pneumonia.
After tracking down the origin, authorities concluded that a new disease was the cause,
which they sequenced and published on January 9. Apparently, it is a lot less lethal than
previous variants such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
Two days later, the first death by the coronavirus was confirmed. Moreover, 41 more people were
declared infected with the virus, while contemplating about other 700 possible cases. This confirmed
that the disease was easily transmitted from human to human through the air, such as through
saliva drops from coughing or sneezing. The infections started to multiply, and the coronavirus
started to be treated as an international emergency.
A few days passed, and the first infection cases were detected in other countries such
as Japan, the United States and France. In fact, it's possible that the virus has already
spread to other places because of how easy it can spread among airplane passengers. So…
should we worry? The answer is… of course!
At the end of the day this is a disease, but we shouldn't fall into alarmism either.
The truth is that the mortality rate of this new virus is of around 3% – not so worrying
if we compare it with some strains of the common flu. Moreover, so far most deaths due
to the coronavirus have occurred in patients who already had other health problems.
Now, something we CAN do is follow some advice by the World Health Organization: Avoid getting
too close to other people who we suspect might be infected, cover our nose and mouth when
sneezing or coughing and wash our hands frequently.
Optionally, we can also wear medical masks when going out.
The coronavirus is a real problem, and surely all of us have worried, at least a little
bit, when hearing about it on the news. However, we need to remember that all the measures
taken so far regarding the virus are all typical, as we are dealing with an unknown disease.
Let's trust that our doctors and authorities will be working diligently to keep us safe,
and let's help each other by taking all the precautions that are under our control!
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422 Folder Collection
yvonneho7317 published on February 7, 2020
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