Coronavirus Outbreak Declared Global Emergency


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

2.In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)

3.Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.

A coronavirus outbreak that originated in China continues to spread rapidly, and has now infected almost 80,000 people and claimed more than 2,400 lives. 

The United States now has 35 confirmed cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday, including a new case in California and 21 patients repatriated from China and the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

Second only to the cruise ship, which has seen more than 600 infections, South Korea now has the highest number of confirmed cases outside of China, with two deaths and 602 people now infected, Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed Friday. The sudden surge is being attributed largely to an outbreak at the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, which has been described as a cult by the KCDC.

More than 300 American citizens who had been quarantined on the Diamond Princess were flown back to the United States on February 16. Eighteen of them have thus far tested positive for the virus, according to the CDC. A statement from the CDC confirmed that all Diamond Princess passengers repatriated to the United States would undergo a mandatory two-week federal quarantine in one of two existing quarantine sites in California and in Texas.

As of this week, the CDC had tested 413 people for the virus. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II has declared the outbreak a public health emergency in the United States, and the WHO has declared the situation to be a public health emergency of international concern.

What Is a Coronavirus?

The strain 2019-nCoV is part of the family of coronaviruses that range from the common cold to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and SARS, according to William Schaffner, MD, professor of preventive medicine in the department of health policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.

During a SARS outbreak between November 2002 and July 2003, there were 8,098 probable cases reported to the WHO, including 29 cases from the United States, according to the CDC. There were also 774 SARS-related deaths, none of them among the U.S. cases. 

Coronaviruses commonly circulate in animals, which experts estimate are responsible for about 60 percent of human infectious diseases, noted an article published in March 2018 in TuftsNow. When a virus is transmitted between animals and humans, it’s called a spillover event. In fact, some researchers believe that the new strain may have been passed from bats to humans via an intermediary animal, the pangolin.

“Although these viruses have similarities, it’s like an extended family. You can distinguish among your different cousins even though they are part of the same family,” says Dr. Schaffner. “This new virus is part of the ‘family,’ but we’re just beginning to learn about how much it’s the same or different from these other coronaviruses.”

For example, SARS was more easily transmitted from person to person than MERS, which is not as transmissible between people, he says. “People seem to acquire MERS largely from camels,” says Schaffner.

“We’ve been concerned and actually expecting that there would be some person-to-person transmission [of this coronavirus],” Schaffner says.

“There is a reported episode of a patient who seems to have transmitted this new coronavirus to 14 healthcare workers,” he adds. “We would designate that person a ‘super-spreader’: someone who is very readily able to spread through close contact. How common that is, we don’t know. That’s usually a pretty unusual event, so we hope that that’s not the norm. However, we don’t know how frequently human-to-human transmission is occurring. There are all kinds of little question marks that have come up.”

 2019 Coronavirus Origins

Known as 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus appears to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Chinese health officials suspect that the outbreak began at a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, suggesting that the virus began as an animal-to-person spread, according to the CDC, and then began to transmit from person-to-person. Two people in the Guangdong province in southern China had contracted the virus from family members, and some medical workers also tested positive for the virus.

“The major source of the virus is thought to be this live animal market, which has subsequently closed,” Schaffner says. “But there are a number of patients who have already been reported who have not had direct contact with this market.”

 Do I Need to Take Extra Precautions Because of the New Virus?

For people who are concerned about their risk due to travel or potential contact through visitors, extra precautions can be taken. In a WHO video about the coronavirus, Maria Van Kerkhove, MD, an infectious-disease epidemiologist and technical consultant for WHO, makes the following recommendations:

· Because coronavirus typically causes respiratory symptoms, basic hand hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap and water, is recommended.

· Practice respiratory hygiene by sneezing into your elbow.

· Protect yourself against a potential animal source by avoiding unnecessary unprotected contact with live animals. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after contact with an animal.

· Make sure meat is cooked thoroughly before consuming.

 Cosmo Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving surrounding communities in New Jersey. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating the latest in technology-based tools and laws on healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance and finance, we keep our clients up-to-date with the plans that encompass all of their needs, whether it is individual or group insurance.