With the latest outbreak, no company is immune. The latest coronavirus report comes from Google, as a Zurich employee is now confirmed as coronavirus-positive.
Google employee confirmed as coronavirus-positive
The employee, who still remains unknown publicly, traveled to Google's Zurich office in Switzerland. At the time the employee was in the office, he or she did not have any symptoms of coronavirus.
"We can confirm that one employee from our Zurich office has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. They were in the Zurich office for a limited time, before they had any symptoms. We have taken — and will continue to take — all necessary precautionary measures, following the advice of public health officials, as we prioritize everyone's health and safety," Google said in an email to its international employees on Friday.
In response to the new coronavirus confirmation, Google is restricting travel of its employees to Iran, Italy (where two regions are seeing outbreak growth), and soon, South Korea and Japan. The search engine giant says that it's also canceling its Google News Initiative Global Summit because of the disease spread.
Samsung reported a coronavirus case in its Gumi complex phone factory last week. Though the floor where the infected employee worked was scheduled to close until February 25th, Samsung reopened the floor and sanitized to prevent the spread of the disease.
What is coronavirus?
Some ask the question, "What is coronavirus?" Coronavirus, labeled COVID-19, is a sickness that works something akin to the flu or influenza. Coronavirus patients exhibit many of the same symptoms as flu patients: coughing, sneezing, headache, and so on. In many cases, though, coronavirus patients are not exhibiting symptoms, which means it is a deadly infectious disease. Silent spreading, the spread of the virus while patients exhibit no symptoms, explains much of the spread of the disease across the globe currently.
The disease has a 0.5% mortality rate, killing mostly elderly and patients with compromised immune systems (such as those who have medical conditions for which they're taking medication). It has the potential to kill babies as well as children and adults. In one mysterious case this week, a 3-week old baby recovered from coronavirus after being born to an infected patient in Wuhan, China. Doctors now think that coronavirus can be passed from mother to child in-vitro.
How it all fell apart: where did coronavirus begin?
This current coronavirus outbreak started in the Chinese province of Wuhan. Some say it spread from animals to humans in a live animal market. The rumor has little substantiation at this point.
A doctor in Wuhan reported the potential danger to Chinese authorities, who forced him to recant the statement and tried to keep it quiet. A few weeks later, the outbreak could not be contained, and Beijing reported it to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Since then, the largest outbreak is contained to China, where some 70,000+ individuals have been infected with coronavirus. Over 80,000 individuals worldwide are now confirmed to carry the disease. 60 cases of coronavirus are now in the US. There are now over 2,800 deaths worldwide from the sickness.
China's Beijing has released a Coronavirus Close Contact Detector app. The app allows individuals to input their government ID number and see if they've come in contact with infected individuals. Though many say the new app infringes on privacy, it is being used for the greater cause of preventing the growth of this disease.
New coronavirus cases this week
New cases have appeared in the US, UK, and Nigeria that make the disease one not to be taken lightly. This week, a case of coronavirus was confirmed in California. The individual there has not been in contact with sick individuals. Overnight, three new cases of coronavirus appeared in the UK and one in Nigeria. One of the UK confirmations comes from Wales. Wales is now one of the new appearances of coronavirus, as it was previously restricted to England. In Nigeria, an employee started showing symptoms after reporting for work. The Nigerian employee traveled from his home in Italy. Italy, it may be recalled, is seeing outbreak in two cities there.
While the World Health Organization has yet to call coronavirus a "pandemic," the agency says that the current coronavirus outbreak does have "pandemic potential." A vaccine is being developed for coronavirus, though
With the Google employee confirmed as a coronavirus patient, what can others do to stay safe?
With the spread of coronavirus to the US, US officials are telling all 50 states to prepare for a possible national outbreak. So, in such a situation, what can one do to stay safe?
A few tips can help. First, one must be sure to wash his or her hands as much as possible. If one is traveling, he or she should do this a lot. Touching doors, handles, rails, and other public objects and items can spread to an individual. Using hand sanitizer while traveling is a good idea, as it could prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Avoid close-up encounters with those who are coughing or sneezing. This is a good practice to avoid getting colds, sinus infections, and even the flu. And yet, it still applies for coronavirus. Getting in someone's face with symptoms is an easy way to become infected.
Medical professionals are currently advising world citizens to avoid buying up facial masks. Those masks serve to prevent the spread of coronavirus from infected individuals. If non-infected individuals buy up all the facial masks, how will infected individuals be able to prevent spreading their sickness? Though individuals should avoid buying up facial masks, it may not hurt to use one when out in public places such as an airport. Google is telling its Bay Area employees to wash their hands and cover their mouths.
These tips apply to those who are mostly stay-at-home crowds as well. If you're traveling or intend to, avoid traveling to places where the disease has spread (Italy, South Korea, Iran, etc.). Work from home as much as possible.