Not often do you get a topic that everyone seems to be talking about. But over the past few weeks, the Coronavirus has certainly been that topic.
What started as a sickness in China has caused now widespread concern over the escalation of its impact. According to the Center fr Disease Control, it’s an “upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold.” Also, “Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to frequently cause severe symptoms. MERS symptoms usually include fever, cough, and shortness of breath which often progress to pneumonia. About 3 or 4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died.”
The virus began in the Chinese city of Wuhan and as of last week, had 830 confirmed cases and caused 26 deaths, according to Reuters. Panic has spread this week, however, as the virus has spread. According to CNN, there are now more than 6,000 confirmed cases in mainland China and 132 deaths.
There have also been five confirmed cases in the United States, though no deaths outside of China. Much of the spread has been due to travels of Chinese during the Chines New Year. Two of the cases have been in California, while one is in Arizona, one in Washington and one in Illinois.
While panic has not reached the US, necessarily, it has caused some precautions to be made. Miami University in Ohio cancelled its men’s and women’s basketball games last night as two students have been suspected as having contracted the virus.
A Miami student with very mild symptoms has met the criteria to testing for possible infection with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. More information can be found here: https://t.co/geteyFz2LS
— Miami University (@miamiuniversity) January 28, 2020
And at Arizona State, concerned students have petitioned for classes to be cancelled. There has also been an influx of face masks worn by students and those on campus as a result of the concern.
While some ASU students say they aren’t too concerned after #coronavirus diagnosis of someone from ASU community, a few Arizona State university students are taking precautions.
We saw several students wearing masks on Tempe campus Monday #coronavirus #fox10phoenix #asu pic.twitter.com/vRgCW2AuMd
— Linda Fox 10 (@lindawfox10) January 27, 2020
Using Social Studio software and simply the keyword “coronavirus” as a search term, yielded and incredible 11 million posts. One-fourth of those posts came from the United States, but 39.9 percent were made from posters at unknown locations.
This is unsurprising, as this typically is the result of people using scrambled VPNs. With much of social media blocked in mainland China, as a result of the Chinese government, it is common practice for people there to use scrambled VPNs in order to obtain outside information. China is not the only country to have blocked various social media, but the most prominent.
Unsurprisingly, posts about the coronavirus have been exceedingly negative. According to Social Studio, it’s been 70 percent negative. But much criticism has stemmed from the Chinese government reaction to the virus, and how it has attempted to curtail its spread.
China’s behavior during #coronavirus outbreak has been good only by China standards. Not by any normal public health standard. They concealed initial outbreak, didn’t admit severity, hid that healthcare workers were getting infected which proved H2H spread https://t.co/adkykX7oyw
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) January 27, 2020
We’ll continue to monitor the coronavirus from our perch atop the Communication building in the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center.