The coronavirus has gained widespread awareness with numerous infections and many deaths. With warranted attention from the media, the new disease has emerged as one of the most impactful pandemics of the 21st century.
The Ebola epidemic had a death rate of over 11,000 from 2014 to 2016, according to one.org. But the coronavirus poses the possibility of being just as disruptive. Major news outlets often compare this ‘novel’ coronavirus with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic that occurred nearly two decades ago. The question is, what was SARS.
The SARS outbreak, like its modern counterpart, the coronavirus, originated in China. The notability of the new epidemic is that China had previously handled the SARS epidemic with a lack of transparency. Some were concerned about how China would handle this new virus. This was because of China’s initial reluctance to reveal the extent of the outbreak internationally. China’s leaders imposed strict censorship over the news outlets and media, preventing not only the world but also its citizens from hearing about the disease.
Here are a few quick facts about the size of damage done by the SARS virus from ecohealthalliance.org:
• Medical professionals diagnosed over 8,000 people with SARS worldwide
• More than 700 people died, making the SARS fatality rate around 8.75%
• SARS cost the global economy anywhere from $30 billion to $50 billion
A few quick facts about the damage done by the coronavirus
• The coronavirus has infected around 100,000 people worldwide, with more cases every day
• The death toll is over 3,000, but calculating a fatality rate is not yet possible
• Oxford Economics has claimed that the coronavirus could cost the global economy a whopping one trillion dollars
The coronavirus has begun to surpass its predecessor in both death toll and total infections, according to statistics from worldometers.info. The disease has already appeared to be spreading more quickly than SARS, which took a month if not more, to spread across the globe. But in a matter of weeks, the coronavirus hit the United States, over 200 Americans already infected.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus looks like it will do more damage than the SARS virus. Despite this, there is hope that with the World Health Organization working to provide resources and relief and cooperation by the Chinese government, containment will be not just possible but reality soon.