The 21st Century Plague

The 21st Century Plague

Ellie Jean, Staff Writer

The coronavirus is not the only epidemic to originate from china. 


In 1957 the Asian Bird flu and Hong Kong flu in 1968 killed 3 million people in total worldwide. 


In 2003 SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, killed 774 people with the majority of those being in China. Which was traced to palm civets that were sold as exotic meats at a chinese food market.  


As well as last year when a disease known as the African Swine flu wiped out half of China’s pigs.


However the African Swine flu did not originate from China or affect people.


Dr. Jennifer Huang Bouey is the leading researcher at the RAND Corporation, and says that China has become a leader in studying contagious disease.


“There is quite a fair amount of epidemics originating in China, or passing through China,” Dr. Jennifer Huang Bouey said. 


In Wuhan China this past December is when the coronavirus first emerged which has never been seen in humans until this point. 


Since then the virus has spread at a rapid pace to other countries in, and out of Asia. 


The World Health Organization declared at the end of last month that this situation is now a public health emergency


More than 2,000 people have died and there are over 75,000 confirmed cases worldwide with only 11 of the deaths being outside of mainland China. 


As of February 13 the total number of infected people was just over 60,000. There were 500 more confirmed cases in one day. 


Riverton High schools dance company captain, Spenser McCarthy, said this regarding the matter, “It is really scary how fast the number of deaths are rising. This is the plague of the 21st century and something that people will talk about for a long time. Just because of the death toll and rapid spread of it.”


Chris Liakos reporting for CNN stated that, “The International Air Transport Association (IATA) the total global lost revenue for airlines could be $29.3 billion due to coronavirus.”


Director of Jetblue’s call center, Shauntel Lizzarazo, who is the parent of a Riverton High student said this regarding the virus, “It has affected us, but not as much as other airlines. This is due to the fact that Jetblue doesn’t fly out of the country. However customers have been canceling and changing flights and connecting flights due to warnings.”