The coronavirus has been one of the most talked about news topics since the new year began. There are a lot of misconceptions about the virus right now, with many people confused about what is actually going on. Here are some important things to know about how the coronavirus is spreading.

The Beginnings

The coronavirus first got its start in early 2019 when people began reporting an unusual, flu-like illness in Wuhan. This Chinese city with over 11 million residents is known for its bustling seafood and live animal markets. With its ability to incubate unnoticed for weeks while infecting other people, the virus rapidly spread before people were even aware it existed. There are currently 37,592 reported cases of the virus, with over 99 percent of those being in China.

China’s Containment Plans

At first, the Chinese government seemed to dismiss concerns about the virus, but as global worries grew, they took steps to halt the spread. Currently, China is enacting very strict quarantines, with entire major cities being shut down. Mike Ryan, director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, finds this encouraging. He points out that the Hubei province is the only area where cases of coronavirus continue to sharply rise, while nowhere else is seeing such rapid acceleration in infections.

Promising Treatment Methods Development

Some doctors think everyone will still be fine even if the virus spreads further. There are already some promising clinical trials in place for drugs that can help treat coronavirus, and some healthcare researchers believe a vaccination will be developed in under a year. If this happens, then the coronavirus may become another illness like the flu, recurring regularly and causing problems but not completely destroying everyone.

The Potential for a Global Pandemic

While most news about the virus is reassuring, there is still cause for concern. With its ability to hide symptoms, spread rapidly, and kill a large number of patients, many fear that it may be too late to stop the spread. If this happens, it could be like the 1957 flu outbreak that killed over a million people around the world. Health experts recommend people take precautions, since the outcome is still so uncertain.