It is a new coronavirus that originated in animals in China and was contracted by humans in a Wuhan food market.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
• Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. COVID-19 may be spread by “touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
Some people may think they have COVID-19 when they do not. Others may think they do not have COVID-19 when they do. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The primary symptoms of
*Fever *Cough *Shortness of breath
As of March 2, 2020, the countries with the most number of cases are China (80,000+; total pop.: 1.4+ billion), South Korea (7,134; pop. 51 million), Italy (5,800+; pop. 60 million), Iran (5,800+; pop. 81 million), and Japan (455; pop. 127 million). Spread of the coronavirus is not nationwide in any affected country. In Italy, cases have been overwhelmingly located in the Northern (Lombardy, Veneto), and the Italian government is quarantining all of northern Italy for all but essential travel.
• As of March 8, 2020, the coronavirus has resulted in 3,584+ deaths worldwide (3,100+ of those in China).
• In contrast, since Fall 2019, various other flu illnesses have affected 34 to 49 million Americans and caused 20,000 to 52,000 deaths in US alone. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html
Yes. By age, the death rate for persons ages 10-39 who have COVID-19 is 0.2% (two-tenths of 1%). In contrast, the death rate for persons at least 80 years old is 14.8%. Men have a higher total death rate (2.8%) than women (1.7%), and pre-existing conditions are a factor: cardiovascular disease (10.5% death rate), diabetes (7.3%), chronic respiratory disease (6.3%), among others. Most pre-existing health conditions are more common among older persons. Among all those with no pre-existing health conditions, including senior citizens, the death rate is 0.9%.