By Jordan Darling, Editor-in-Chief
The 2019 coronavirus has presented the public with bouts of panic and a fake news release about a Carson centered outbreak, but the Student Health Center at California State University, Dominguez Hills is more worried about the current flu season.
“At this point from what we know and past [research], [experts] have seen more complications from the flu,” Dr. Irena Gaal, chief of medical services for the CSUDH health center, said. “But it is a new virus. We have more history treating the common flu so we know what the complications are from statistics…We just have to continue monitoring the virus to see its effects.”
The current flu season is well underway and according to a Jan. 28 report from the California Department of Public Health, the number of flu-related deaths has jumped to 149 since Sept. 29.
However, even though the health center is more concerned about students taking precautions against catching the flu, it sent an email to students Jan. 30 informing them that the coronavirus does not present an immediate danger to the campus. In the email, the center laid out a description of the virus, symptoms and preventative measures that students can take, such as practicing basic sanitary measures like washing their hands and disposing of used tissues.
Although the coronavirus has caught most of the world’s attention, and the World Health Organization declared it a “public health emergency of international concern” Jan. 30, little is known about the disease, and an investigation into its outbreak is ongoing, according to the Center for Disease Control.
What is known, is that the virus broke out in late December in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and within a month, an estimated 24,554 people have contracted the virus, all but 191 cases were in China and the death toll has nearly hit 500 people according to a Feb. 5 report from WHO.
The disease presents itself in flu-like symptoms: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The bacteria can cause complications including respiratory infections and it appears to be more of a danger to those with underlying health concerns or poor immune systems.
The spread in the United States has been minimal so far with only 11 cases, six of those in California. The spread of the disease has preceded itself and has caused flares of alarm worldwide as the globe takes on preventative measures.
The White House released a proclamation on Jan. 31 suspending the entry of immigrants and non-immigrants who pose a risk of spreading the coronavirus. The proclamation excludes the immediate family of U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens, and flight crews.
Homeland Security has also redirected flights from China to seven different airports including LAX in order to screen for the disease.
On Feb. 5 a flight from Seoul, South Korea was redirected from its Las Vegas destination to LAX for screening because two of the passengers had recently traveled to China.
On Feb. 4 Hyundai announced it was suspending auto manufacturing in South Korea; The company receives the majority of its parts from China and has decided to suspend manufacturing until further notice.
The BBC reported that Hong Kong has partially closed its borders to travelers from China and many Hong Kong medical officials have gone on strike in order to demand more preventative actions.
The Chinese economy is hurting from the disease, the Shanghai Composite index dropped 8 percent in one day. This is the largest drop the economy has seen in over four years, according to the BBC.
The disease has affected more than public health, there is a potential for a long term negative effect on the socio-economic situation worldwide.