The coronavirus has officially become a pandemic.
Confirmed cases of the outbreak are beginning to sprawl across multiple continents.
And one finding about the coronavirus just sent health officials into a panic.
The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China continues to alarm and beat world health officials.
And as concerning as the coronavirus has been to this point, new information has increased the panic.
According to a study from research scientists at the University of Texas at Austin, the coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19 by the WHO, “is up to 20 times more likely to bind to human cell receptors” and lead to infection than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Study details how COVID-19 and SARS share the same functional host-cell receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).
The study states that the “high affinity of [COVID-19] for human ACE2 may contribute to the apparent ease with which [COVID-19] can spread from human to human.”
This news is chilling for health officials.
In the early aughts, over roughly 8,000 SARS cases afflicted Asia and led to 774 deaths.
COVID-19 doesn’t have the same mortality rate, but the rapid proliferation of the virus has caused COVID-19 to surpass the SARS death toll with no clear end in sight.
The number of confirmed cases is approaching 80,000 with over 2,600 deaths.
Some health officials have even speculated that as much as 60% of the globe could be infected by the virus, which would lead to a staggering death total exceeding 40 million people.
That doomsday projection is far off at this point, but the ease at which the COVID-19 is spreading is understandably causing a panic.
One of the characteristics that makes COVID-19 so difficult to contain is a combination of seemingly mild symptoms, and an incubation period of up to 24 days.
That means carriers of the virus could be asymptomatic for over three weeks, and when someone does get infected, the illness can present itself mildy.
The communist government of China isn’t helping matters by being cagey about COVID-19’s origin.
The narrative that a bowl of bat soup at a seafood market spread the illness is crumbling.
There’s growing speculation that COVID-19 originated in a massive biohazard label across the street from the market.
The Chinese government is more concerned with saving face, so the sharing of information was lacking in the early stages of the outbreak.
They silenced a doctor who tried to warn the public about the virus early on in the process.
Tragically, that doctor succumbed to the virus.
Two citizen journalists also disappeared after reporting on the severity of the outbreak.
Thus far, the number of coronavirus cases is up to 34 in the United States, but that number could increase after an infected patient was accidentally released from a hospital in San Diego.
If you haven’t gotten serious about pandemic prep, now is absolutely the time.
COVID-19 hasn’t shown signs of slowing down, so don’t get caught unprepared.