Coronavirus epidemic forces county and district officials to release statements of prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventon (CDC) explain that the MERS-CoV particles as seen by negative stain electron microscopy. Source: Cynthia Goldsmith/Maureen Metcalfe/Azaibi Tamin

Photo Courtesy of the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventon (CDC) explain that the MERS-CoV particles as seen by negative stain electron microscopy. Source: Cynthia Goldsmith/Maureen Metcalfe/Azaibi Tamin

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After the total death toll of 492 to 500 and possibly more, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the Coronavirus to be a “Global Health Emergency”. Chino Valley Unified School District’s Board issued the following statement to parents and guardians on Jan 31: “In the School District’s ongoing efforts to communicate with you regarding the Novel Coronavirus…the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health issued an update on January 28 confirming no reported cases of the novel coronavirus in the San Bernardino County. To date, there have been five confirmed cases of the virus in the United States including two in California-one in Los Angeles County and one in Orange County.”

CVUSD explained to parents that the following proactive measures have been put in place to address the novel coronavirus and all respiratory illnesses:
1. Placing posters in highly visible areas at schools promoting good health.Placing posters in highly visible areas at schools promoting good health practices.
2. Promoting hand-washing among students and staff throughout all sites and avoiding the touching of nose, mouth, and eyes.

3. Encouraging parents to keep their students home when sick. Soon as we return to school when they are fever free for at least 24-hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
4. Continuing standard cleaning practices at school sites.

The school district also reported that they are working closely with public health officials for current
updates and guidance.

Congresswoman Norma Torres, of the 35th district, released the following statement in an email to San Bernardino residents, “The well-being of our Inland Empire is very important to me. With two confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Southern California, I want to make sure you have adequate information to stay safe and healthy.”

Approximately 12 miles away from the city of Chino, Torres addressed the 14-day quarantine of passengers on a flight from Wuhan, China to Ontario International Airport that took place last week in which she explained, “This week, a flight from Wuhan, China was diverted from its original destination of Ontario International Airport to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California.  The passengers on that flight are now under a 14-day quarantine.” She has diverted any other inquiries about the incident to her website: torres.house.gov where she is now requesting an investigation into the coronavirus flight.

With the first cases emerging in the United States, people are wondering, why is this happening? Scientists and doctors don’t have a specific clue where the strand of Coronavirus originated, though the most likely candidate is from the illegal animal market in China; specifically from the consumption of bats. Bats are known to carry diseases like SARS and other Coronavirus strands. Researchers at Journal Nature Research reported, “Since the SARS outbreak 18 years ago, a large number of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoV) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats.”

Previous studies indicated that some of those bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans. The identification and characterization of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China is now responsible  for the epidemic, which started from 12 December 2019 and has reportedly caused 2,050 laboratory-confirmed infections with 56 fatal cases as of 26 January 2020.”

Furthermore, Journal Nature Researchers explained, “Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at the early stage of the outbreak. They are almost identical to each other and share 79.5% sequence identify to SARS-CoV…it was found that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus.”

It is likely, the virus originated in health violations regarding human-bat contact, eating unprepared bats from a boiling water pot of which, caused the Coronavirus outbreak.