Since a new outbreak of coronavirus began in December, Chinese authorities have quarantined millions of people and international airports have been checking travelers for signs of the disease to control its spread. But as scientists learn more and more about the virus that causes pneumonia of a new type, it becomes unclear how effective strategies will actually be in combating the epidemic. If so, is it possible to at least control the spread of the virus around the planet by limiting its speed of movement?
Is it possible to limit the spread of coronavirus?
The incidence of coronavirus or 2019-nCoV has been increasing rapidly since the first outbreak announcement. Currently, 4,587 confirmed cases have been registered in 16 countries. According to sciencenews.com, currently 106 people have already died from the total number of infected. In order to prevent the further spread of the disease on the planet, the Chinese government decided to isolate more than 50 million people from the outside world, which is the largest quarantine case in modern history. And although universal quarantine was able to help humanity prevent an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, experts cannot unequivocally argue that similar actions will lead to the victory over a new dangerous virus.
Can people spread the coronavirus and not know about it?
Despite the fact that coronaviruses are RNA viruses that have a deliberately erroneous replication mechanism and can easily exchange their parts with other viruses, the causative agent of the disease so recently discussed differs from its other species in some stability. This quality can help researchers trace the origin of the viral infection and find a panacea for the disease in the future. However, at present, due to the fact that the mechanism of transmission of a new type of pneumonia has not yet been clarified, the likelihood that the disease is transmitted by airborne droplets is extremely high. In addition, it is possible that patients may not even experience any symptoms, being potential carriers of the 2019-nCoV virus. The presence of asymptomatic patients significantly reduces the effectiveness of screening at airports for the presence of coronavirus, which in turn leads to the further spread of the disease on the planet.
The main symptoms of the presence of coronavirus disease are extremely reminiscent of the symptoms that occur with a cold, but differ from them in lesions of the deeper parts of the respiratory tract. Experts note that although measures taken by the Chinese government to isolate cases can slow down the spread of infection, quarantine, especially on such a large scale, is largely ineffective and often counterproductive to public health. So, according to the mayor of the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the main outbreak occurred, before travel restrictions were fully imposed, at least 5 million Wuhan residents left the city. In addition, the introduction of quarantine can also lead to a shortage of food and medicine, thereby increasing social strife within the city.
If the necessary vaccine against coronavirus is never found, scientists believe that humanity will be able to adapt to coexistence with it, as happened in the past with the flu.