What you should know about the Coronavirus

Kya Gooch, Reporter

A coronavirus is defined as “any group of RNA viruses that cause a variety of diseases in humans and animals,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. This virus was first found on December 12, 2019 in Wuhan, China, a city with more residents than New York and Chicago combined. Because coronaviruses can be spread between animals and humans, researchers believe that the first victim got infected when he ate contaminated meat from the local market in Wuhan.

Since January 20, reported cases have jumped from 282 to 7,700, with a current reported death toll of 190. The first symptoms are similar to those of a common cold, but if they worsen they can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and death. The virus can be spread through coughs or sneezes, or by touching contaminated objects.

Cases of the coronavirus have now been found outside of China. It has now spread to several countries and even to other continents. In the united states, there are 5 reported cases, with the closest being in Chicago, Illonis. In China, airports and railway stations are closed, and residents are being urged to stay inside.

“If the virus spreads to Missouri, we’re done for,” senior Abby Island said.

Although there is a rise in reports of the new coronavirus, the CDC urges United States citizens to worry about this seasons influenza impact, as the virus is very active this year. There have been more than 15 million cases of the flu with more than 8,200 deaths in the 2019-2020 flu season alone. 

“There’s such a small chance of getting infected by the coronavirus in the United States, I think we should focus on the flu, which is hitting us hard this year,” senior Brayden Sparks.

For now, one of the most effective ways to avoid these viruses is washing your hands, getting a flu shot, and keep good hygiene, sleep, and eating habits.