José López Zamorano; Translated by Arturo Hilario | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: Unsplash

Coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in China and has led to 13 infections in the United States. Although its origin is still unknown, preliminary data indicates that it is less lethal than the outbreak of SARS, which caused death to more of 8,000 people between November 2002 and July 2003, especially in China.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus last week as a “public health emergency of international importance,” it is clear that no country should lower its guard because statistics suggest that the coronavirus is spreading at a faster rate than the SARS. So far more than 43,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been on alert to respond to the emergency and have recognized that there are still many aspects of the virus’ origin and spread that are still unknown, despite this, they are determined to stop its transmission.

The deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Anne Schuchat, said during an address at the National Press Club in Washington that they are not precisely aware of its origin, or of all the modes of infection, although it is presumed to occur through body fluids such as cough during the contagion period.

Statistics confirm that even when the coronavirus is spreading faster than SARS, its mortality is lower, since in the case of SARS it was 10% and that of the coronavirus is just over 2% in China and is currently 0 % in the case of the United States.

The reasons why coronaviruses can cause severe symptoms in some patients and very moderate ones in others are also unknown.

Health workers are the most vulnerable to infection. The first 138 patients diagnosed with coronavirus were allegedly victims of a hospital infection during their stay in a hospital in Wuhan Province, China, the epicenter of the disease.

That is why it was surprising that the Trump administration reduced the CDC budget request by 19% for the next fiscal year, although resources to confront emergencies such as the coronavirus were apparently preserved, which immediately provoked criticism in Congress.

Everything we do not know about the coronavirus and the reality that humanity faces persistent public health dangers illustrates the need to ensure not only survival but the growth of those institutions that are at the forefront of battles of global health threats.

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