The spread of coronavirus from the Chinese city of Wuhan

The coronavirus epidemic, which is spreading from the so-called Huanan wet market in Wuhan, is causing panic around the world as the death toll rises to 57. Like the SARS virus at the molecular level, the coronavirus has forced China to shut down the city of Wuhan in an attempt to contain the infection.

The WHO has declared a global emergency, as happened during swine flu, Zika and Ebola. The Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, where the sale of animal meat is not regulated, is considered the "epicenter" of the epidemic. Poultry, pork, cattle, fox, koala and dog were among the few animals whose raw meat could be purchased on the market.

The city is well connected to other cities via trains and waterways - allowing the deadly virus to spread. Bats, marmots and even snakes can be found in the wet market for consumption.

Comparison to Spanish flu

Experts warn that fears about the worsening of the epidemic will also lead to an increase in deaths. Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said two out of every 100 infected could die, making the epidemic comparable to the Spanish flu. “The death rate is comparable to the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, so this is a major problem worldwide,” he told The Sun.

The virus has the same mortality rate as the flu if left unchecked. Both viruses are transmitted from animals to humans and cause respiratory failure, and their common features of origin are attributed to markets for the sale of fresh animal meat. The Spanish flu virus claimed 50 million lives in the last century.

Symptoms, treatment

The symptoms of coronavirus are fever, fatigue, sore throat and dry cough in the early stages, making it much more difficult to detect. As the progression progresses, respiratory problems begin to arise more and more. The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic belongs to the same family as SARS and Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus), viruses that originate in animals but later spread to humans.

Distribution control

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang asked the government about concrete steps to combat the spread of this type of virus. By January 22, 2020, 17 people had been officially confirmed dead in the Wuhan region, indicating human-to-human transmission. Tests later showed that almost 600 cases had been confirmed by the coronavirus, which had entered Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong and the United States. International health authorities have raised concerns about people traveling to China during the holiday seasons, as that is when the virus began to spread.

Since January 23, 2020, all flights and passenger trains from Wuhan have been halted to contain and combat the virus. Residents in Wuhan have already been told to avoid crowds and minimize social gatherings.

Crisis of the meat markets

The new strain of coronavirus from Wuhan is similar to SARS, their general similarity is that they both originated in bird markets and also spread between people. The Huanan Market was closed on January 1, 2020 to stop the spread of the disease. The appearance of these "wet" markets is disgusting and ugly, as the distance between the stalls is so narrow that people shrink into each other while shopping for fresh meat products.

In a shop with only one butcher, selling more than a hundred chickens leaves much to be desired for better hygiene. Dogs avidly watch dead meat for sale, while vendors display skinned rabbits and seafood stalls, displaying sparkling fish and shrimp.

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