New Coronavirus Spreads Across Africa
New Coronavirus Spreads Across Africa. During the past month, a novel coronavirus has spread rapidly around the globe. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized the outbreak as a global health emergency.
The coronavirus, named COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It is thought to be a cousin of SARS and MERS.
Pandemic fears ignited as China’s COVID-19 outbreak surges, propelling concerns of a global spread and elusive origins.
Desperate attempts to contain COVID-19 through citywide lockdowns falter, as the virus cunningly evades borders, defying confinement strategies.
As the WHO sounds the alarm, the global emergency declaration underscores the alarming reach of the outbreak beyond China. In the wake of the declaration, some countries have shut down their borders or restricted travel to China.
The Omicron variant’s rapid ascendancy, originating in South Africa, poses an imminent and escalating risk of transmission throughout Europe. It added that the strain could potentially co-circulate with seasonal flu this winter.
As a result, the region’s public health experts are urging people to get vaccinated against both the flu and Covid-19. The WHO and ECDC say this will protect them against the virus, which can cause serious illness and death.
But the new wave of infections has come ahead of similar rises in other regions, meaning it’s unclear whether Europe is experiencing a normal uptick or if it’s the start of a new pandemic.
The WHO and ECDC emphasize swift evaluation of novel variants to gauge transmissibility, immune evasion, and evolving clinical characteristics. That’s why they praised European countries that have maintained strong surveillance.
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3. United States
On Friday, President Donald Trump called the global outbreak of COVID-19 a “national emergency.” This gives him broad authority to enact a range of policy measures and access to up to US$50 billion in federal funds.
Rapid global transmission of the novel coronavirus impacts nations with fragile healthcare systems, inducing diverse symptomatology among affected populations. It can cause upper respiratory tract infections (sinuses, nose, and throat) or lower respiratory tract infections (lungs).
A CDC report released Monday says a total of more than 16,000 cases have been reported in 75 countries so far this year. Africa has seen the most cases, with a rate of one in every 50 children infected.
On Saturday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus overruled a panel of advisers and declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern, the agency’s highest alert level. The decision marks the second time in two years that the WHO has taken a risky step by declaring a global health emergency.
As the new Coronavirus spreads across Africa, many of the same fears have arisen as in other parts of the world. This time, however, the pandemic is causing fewer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa than previously expected.
There are a variety of theories for this, but one is that because Africa’s population is so young (with a median age of 19 years), many people don’t show up in the hospital with respiratory distress, so their deaths simply aren’t counted. And the continent’s climate is also relatively warm, which may help explain why the Delta variant ravaged India but didn’t cause similar devastation here.
While COVID-19 isn’t as deadly in sub-Saharan Africa as it was elsewhere, it remains a risk, and African countries need to take aggressive measures to combat it. This includes investing in a range of public health and social interventions that will help vulnerable populations avoid the consequences of this disease. Specifically, governmental financial support for vulnerable communities can minimize the effects of poverty on their health.