An unidentified Chinese nurse posted a video about the coronavirus outbreak on social media. She claims that the number of infected people was far higher than claimed by official sources. She appealed to people in the Hubei province to stay inside, and also for more protective equipment for the health care staff.
Message from nurse in Wuhan
The nurse, wearing a protective suit and face mask, explained that she was working in Wuhan and caring for patients infected with the new coronavirus. She said she was “here to tell the truth,” claiming that around 90,000 people had been infected so far. This figure far exceeds the most recent claim by the Chinese government of 1,975 infections.
In the video, she emphasized more than once that everyone in the province should stay inside and not travel to join the Chinese New Year celebrations. It was more important to protect your loved ones so that everyone could celebrate as usual next year.
The nurse also explained that they were working under extreme pressure, around the clock. Also that they were running short of protective equipment – she made a call for disposable goggles, masks, and clothing.
Her statement was confirmed in a report by Al Jazeera News today which stated that doctors in the main center of Wuhan said that the hospitals treating coronavirus patients had been packed for days and that they were under-resourced. The situation in smaller towns was worse.
The nurse also claimed that the virus was undergoing secondary mutations which could cause it to “explode”. Today China’s Health Authority confirmed in a statement that “The ability of the new coronavirus to spread is strengthening and infections could continue to rise.” They’ve started building a new hospital in Wuhan and aim to complete it within six days.
Containing the spread of the Wuhan virus
The new coronavirus, labeled 2019-nCoV, had not previously been seen in humans. It’s commonly known as the Wuhan virus, after the city where the outbreak started. It’s been established that the virus originated from a meat market where meat from wild animals was sold.
Chinese authorities first notified the World Health Organization of a number of severe cases of pneumonia in December 2019. The virus was identified on January 7 and the first death occurred on January 11.
A total restriction on travel in and out of Wuhan was put in place on January 23 to try and contain the spread of the infection. Varying degrees of travel restrictions apply in other cites – affecting altogether 50 million people.
At an emergency meeting on January 23, the World Health Organization decided that the Wuhan coronavirus was not yet a global health emergency.
The Wuhan virus – am I at risk?
The reason the Wuhan virus is causing so much alarm worldwide is because so far little known about its spread and the dangers. Furthermore, humans don’t have immunity against novel viruses which could lead to the rapid spread and more serious infections.
However, to place things in perspective, if you haven’t been to Hubei province in China your chances of contracting another serious infection are much higher.
At least 13 million Americans have had influenza so far this winter and 6,600 have died. “Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison,” said Dr. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Nurses should be aware of the virus and take the travel history of persons with flu symptoms. If the patient, or a contact, has traveled to China in the past 14 days take the necessary steps to have the virus identified and to protect yourself.