Coronavirus: What we know so far

A spokesperson from the Chinese Government stated that as of Feb. 2, the death toll from China’s coronavirus outbreak jumped to 304. Foreign nations have imposed extraordinary travel restrictions on China and airlines have suspended flights.

The most recent countermeasures from Canada were Air Canada cancelling flights to China, as Ottawa issued a new warning Wednesday, informing fliers of the outbreak of coronavirus and warning them to avoid travel to the country.

Air Canada and Cathay Pacific, which both have flights to and from China out of Vancouver International Airport, were the two airways to announce they were cancelling select flights because of the virus.

Coronaviruses, as defined by Erika Edwards and Sara G. Miller, are “a group of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms including a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Some are mild, such as the common cold, while others are more likely to lead to pneumonia. They’re usually spread through direct contact with an infected person.”

They continue as claiming that “…including the newly identified form of the virus, there are a total of seven coronaviruses that can infect humans, the CDC says. Other well-known coronaviruses include SARS and MERS.”

The Government of Canada has issued a consensus for the virus, defining the novel coronavirus as “part of a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Symptoms can include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and a general feeling of being unwell. The majority of cases are mild but the virus can be fatal.”

There have been dozens of cases confirmed in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as states in Europe, North America and the Middle East. Such examples are America, Australia, the Philippines and a recorded 4 cases in Canada so far.  B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed on Wednesday that the province had its first case of the virus.

“It’s a man in his 40’s who lives in Metro Vancouver and who last week returned from a China business trip, which he spent mostly in Wuhan. The man is recovering at home where he voluntarily isolated himself, “said Henry. ”No other family members are showing symptoms.”

AbbVie is the leading company with its current progress in attempting to create an antidote to combat the virus by donating more than $1 million in an effort to help scientists find a cure to the virus. A mix of drugs made by AbbVie, which was being used to treat HIV patients suffering from pneumonia, is now also being tested by Chinese authorities as a potential antidote.