The Wuhan-originating COVID-19 virus continues to spread at an alarming rate. A highly contagious respiratory infection, coronavirus cases now exist on all continents except Antarctica. Although information remains sparse, experts believe COVID-19 mutated from a similar virus present in some animals. Other recent outbreaks, including the notorious SARS debacle, followed a similar trajectory.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. In severe cases, it may even result in death. Part of the emerging panic is due to spotty information from China – where the virus first emerged. The People’s Republic of China strictly controls information, which prevents a rapid global response to the coronavirus. As such, authorities still lack a concrete mortality rate for the virus.
Coronavirus: Stock Market & Economic Impact
Corrective actions taken to slow the spread of the disease are beginning to impact the global economy. Many of the quarantined areas of China are major trade hubs. The inability to ship manufactured products ground the global supply chain to a halt. Now, as cases appear across the world, stocks are tumbling.
Major stock indices around the globe had their worst week since the 2008 recession, including the Dow Jones drop representing the highest single fall in market history. In response to concerns about the coronavirus, President Trump appointed VP Mike Pence to formulate a response. This did little to calm public fear, due to Pence’s history with epidemics. As governor of Indiana, he presided over a marked spike in HIV cases, mostly blamed on his policies.
The Global Spread
Although COVID-19 proved itself highly contagious, this is only one of the factors that allowed for the current scenario. Other contagious diseases, like Ebola, have been geographically contained in the recent past. Chinese Doctor Li Wenliang tried to raise the initial alarm, he found himself accosted by police. He later died from coronavirus complications.
Despite drastic efforts at quarantine and suppression, COVID-19 escaped Wuhan and ultimately China itself. However, In a surprising turn, the outbreak is beginning to pop up in places that cannot be explained by any recent China travel or contact with an infected individual. Iran is one such country that has seen an expanding coronavirus outbreak with no China connection.
Recent cases in the western United States have seen to come from a “community spread.” On February 29, 2020, the U.S. saw its first coronavirus death, which occurred in the state of Washington. As it stands, the situation looks to be getting worse.
Article By: Adam Stone