Principal Deputy Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Anne Schuchat has explained that the current worldwide scenario suggests that coronavirus will turn into a global pandemic. She added that it is not a matter of if, rather when. The announcement came on Tuesday.
CDC also warned the public in United States that they should expect a greater influx of coronavirus cases in America and the public should prepare and expect the epidemic to continue.
There has been a total of 57 cases reported in United States of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, has also said that ‘it’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness’.
Right now, total global confirmed cases of the disease are 80,200 and the death toll has risen to 2,704. These numbers combined with the fact that the virus has spread to almost all the major cities in the world is cause for alarm.
To have a better understanding of the subject, you should understand the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic. Epidemic is a disease which has gotten out of control and cannot be contained through usual public health contingencies. It is defined as a disease outbreak that covers a wide range of geographic area and infects a large proportion of population. In an epidemic the disease grows out of control and is difficult to stop from spreading.
A pandemic is a disease that has crossed a country’s and continental borders and can possibly infect the whole world. A classic example of a pandemic is Spanish influenza of 1918 that killed 40-50 million people worldwide.
Besides China, South Korea is experiencing the largest outbreak of coronavirus in the world. Till now, 1,000 cases have been confirmed and 10 have been reported dead.
Coronavirus has spread to Europe and Italy has taken the brunt of it. 11 people have died due to the virus and 322 cases have been confirmed. In Spain, an Italian doctor in a Tenerife hotel was confirmed to have coronavirus. The hotel has been put on lockdown.
The virus has also spread to Iran where 95 cases have been confirmed with 15 deaths. The country’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi and an MP Mahmoud Sadeghi have been infected with coronavirus. During a news conference on Monday, Hairchi was visibly sick and was coughing occasionally. MP Sadeghi confirmed on Twitter, “My corona test is positive… I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world.”
Iraq has in response put a blanket ban on all arrivals from Iran as a preventive measure, excluding Iraqi citizens.
Switzerland, Thailand, Austria, India, Croatia and Bahrain have also reported cases of coronavirus. Other countries who have reported cases include Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. Vietnam and United Arab Emirates have also reported patients with the virus.