Catherine Hu and Zaina Shaik

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China has spread globally, with at least 14 cases in the United States, one of which was found in Orange County and has reached around 1,360 deaths and 53,000 confirmed cases worldwide, at the time of publication. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global health emergency on Jan. 31.

The patient in Orange County was confirmed in January to be a man in his fifties who had recently traveled to Wuhan but was released on Feb. 1 in good health.

The new coronavirus, discovered late December in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, causes symptoms including fever and shortness of breath. 15% of cases cause severe viral pneumonia.

Wuhan and many surrounding cities in Hubei have been in a government lockdown since Jan. 23. Countries like the United States responded by evacuating their citizens on government-chartered planes and quarantining them on military bases.

174 cases have also been found on the Diamond Princess cruise ship near Japan, resulting in a quarantine of all those on board.

Fear of another global outbreak like SARS has led many countries to impose bans on Chinese nationals entering, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a quarantine on people returning from China, the first mandatory quarantine in America since the 1960s.

The chance of an outbreak in the U.S. is low, but IUSD has implemented precautionary measures. They regularly clean computers, reversed the ban on face masks and asked for a self-quarantine for sick students who have been to China.