The Deadly Corona Virus, a Disease Relative of SARS, Remains Undaunted

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COVID-19 has been, in all probability, active for six months in Wuhan, China, before any global disease investigation team mobilized to confirm the onset of the new coronavirus, which becomes day one for the issuance of interim procedural guidelines. 

COVID-19 has been on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) watch list since 2012, when the disease investigation into the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) originally named SARS-coronavirus, was discovered. 

First discovered in Asia in February 2003, the CDC determined and issued the warning on October 5, 2012, "The National Select Agent Registry Program declared SARS-coronavirus a select agent. A select agent is a bacterium, virus or toxin that has the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety."


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SARS-Corona Virus

The SARS CDC disease Investigation team recommended on January 13, 2004, which is the defacto end of the SARS investigation, "CDC issues "Notice of Embargo of Civets." A SARS-like virus had been isolated from civets (captured in areas of China where the SARS outbreak originated). CDC banned the importation of civets. The civet is a mammal with a catlike body, long legs, a long tail, and a masked face resembling a raccoon or weasel. The ban is currently still in effect."

Once it has been determined by the CDC that an Outbreak Investigation is needed, which can be up to six months from what eventually becomes known as Case 0001. In the SARS Outbreak investigation, which began in the Guangdong Province of China, the initial case was recorded on November 16, 2002.

The World Health Organization, reported six months later, in March of 2003, an unusual strain of "atypical pneumonia . . .named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome." Interim guidelines, as the disease is new to the WHO are issued and in two days, March 14, 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activates an Emergency Operations Center.

From this point the investigation begins to move more rapidly. Not two weeks later cases are confirmed within the United States. On March 28, 2002 "The SARS outbreak is more widespread. CDC begins utilizing pandemic planning." By December of 2002, "WHO received reports of SARS from 29 countries and regions: 8,096 persons with probable SARS resulting in 774 deaths. In the United States, eight SARS infections were documented by laboratory testing and an additional 19 probable SARS infections were reported," said the CDC.

The December 2002 entry is the conclusion in the SARS outbreak documentation until in January 2004, when they issued the ban on the Chinese civet cat. During the same month Chinese official slaughtered millions of Civet cats as they were known carriers which had been determined to cause the SARS-corona virus.

COVID-19

The recent COVID-19 outbreak, in all probability began in June 2019, in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization said, "A pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China on 31 December 2019."

If the same time frame is applied to COVID-19 as in SARS, then it would take a minimum of six months before the cases of this atypical upper respiratory, pneumonia was determined to be more significant than a lethal strain of the flu.


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The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy posted an article titled on December 31, 2019, "Unexplained pneumonia in China; Ebola returns to DRC hot spot; MERS death in Saudi Arabia."

The article reads, "Chinese officials probe unidentified pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan"

    

Health officials in China are investigating the cause of a pneumonia outbreak in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province that has sickened 27 people and seems to be linked to a seafood market.

 

Government officials in Hong Kong and Taiwan detailed what's known from mainland sources, and infectious disease news reporting sites such as FluTrackers, Avian Flu Diary, and ProMED Mail have been tracking official and media reports.

 

In a statement today, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP), citing provincial health commission sources, said that, of 27 patients, 7 are in serious condition and the rest are stable. The main symptom is fever, but some patients have had shortness of breath.

 

Wuhan health officials said the pneumonia appears to be viral and that the patients are in isolation. No obvious human-to-human transmission has been observed, and no healthcare worker infections have been reported.

 

So far, the cause of the outbreak is still under investigation.

 

News of the outbreak triggered rumors of possible severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Virologist Leo Poon, DPhil, a SARS expert from Hong Kong University, told Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), a public broadcasting service in Hong Kong, that it's too early to say the outbreak is a SARS event.

 

He added that the emergence of atypical pneumonia cases requires identifying the responsible pathogen and ruling out SARS or other types of coronaviruses.

The WHO timeline follows the same pattern as in SARS. Once the disease becomes known, then the Outbreak investigation teams mobilize rapidly. On December 31, 2019 when all agencies determine as "Day1" it is, in all probability Day 151, with today, Day 209.

By January 2020, with only 27 sick, the rapid response team in China had built new hospitals in one week to house the sick and dying.

United Nations Response

The United Nations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak has scaled back on crowd gatherings recognizing the spread through exposure and additionally consider the pandemic threat strong and has released money to assist in the fight of the corona virus in vulnerable nations.


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In a statement released on Sunday, (01 March 2020) the UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock, said that it is not too late to contain COVID-19: "We do not yet see evidence that the virus is spreading freely. As long as that's the case, we still have a chance of containing it." However, "swift and robust action must be taken to detect cases early", he added, to "isolate and care for patients, and trace contacts. We must act now to stop this virus from putting more lives at risk."

Early Days of AIDS/HIV

This time delay would not be the first time the United States withheld information that could potentially stop, slow or stall the advancement of a lethal diseases.

Many remember the initial days of AIDS/HIV when the public essentially felt completely abandoned by the government's lack of response. Many directly affected by this outbreak were determined to be active homosexuals, primarily in cluster groups located in cities such as San Francisco or New York, where demographics indicated a large percentage of practicing gay men resided.

Methods of contracting the disease were essentially unknown, or at least not released to the public so preventive means and measures could be immediately available. In the beginning of the HIV/AIDS contagion, the public remained uninformed as government flooded the media with pictures of scientist working ferociously to combat this new pathogen. As it was primarily killing gays, the priority for information was low.

When the American Red Cross began to inadvertently exposure heterosexuals, and children, to this disease, the priority skyrocketed. Once the disease became mainstream effecting all sexual orientations, information became more readily available.

Economies Under Siege

Now the seven strongest economies are being threatened, the possibly of a stronger response, especially as the economies around the world begin to teeter and become tested against the recovery secured over the last decade.


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The summer event season, from small towns to major cities, key tourist hubs around the world, including the summer Olympics expected to run July 24, to August 9, 2020 could be cancelled.

The world is already experiencing many event cancellations in the United States, and around the world as governments issue ban on crowd size gatherings. The Swiss government banned gatherings of more than 1000 people, the French, 5000. Asia has many of its people, across more than five nations on self-quarantine procedures.

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