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COVID-19 Causes Widespread Concern Amongst Florida Residents

COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus (or simply coronavirus), was first contracted by people in China when they came in contact with animals. The World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the name of this illness as COVID-19, CO for “corona,” VI for “virus” and D for the “disease”. On March 11, the WHO officially declared the virus a pandemic.

The coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China where it originated in bats, which carry over a hundred types of coronaviruses. However, scientists, as well as detectives, lack knowledge of how bats reached the live markets in China. It has been speculated that there was a chain of animals that consumed these bats, one of which was later eaten by a human. 

There are currently 129,854 cases of the coronavirus on a global scale which have shown symptoms of infection including painful coughing, shortness of breath, and fever. Approximately 4,700 deaths have taken place, but most of them have been diagnosed with poor health conditions previously.

There have been 1,377 confirmed cases in the United States so President Trump has placed his Vice President, Mike Pence, at the head of the task force in charge of responding to the coronavirus. The President has also banned travel to Europe, including Italy which has the highest number of cases outside China, from the United States for the next 30 days starting at midnight on Friday, March 13. 

Officials in Florida are alarmed by the rapid spread of the coronavirus. As of March 12, there are 25 active cases of the coronavirus across 13 counties in Florida. These patients are in treatment and have been isolated from the population until they are cleared by public health officials in order to avoid any more cases in Florida. 

“Our goal is to contain this,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I have been working with federal partners and our Department of Health to ensure that communities are ready to handle the challenges presented by the coronavirus.” Additionally, State Surgeon Dr. Scott Rivkees has been taking proactive action to help aid the main goal of limiting this virus from turning into an epidemic in Florida. 

Florida used to send data obtained from virus testing to the federal lab in Atlanta which would take 3 to 5 days to send and process. Hence, three Florida Department of Health laboratories has been opened in Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville, in order to improve the practicality of this procedure. The labs can provide results in a range of 24 to 48 hours. During the situation, the state will be following guidance from the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services regarding prevention measures.

It is clear that the virus is becoming more impactful to various people on an international level. Senator Marco Rubio claimed that the problem is not “if” the virus reaches Florida, but “when”. Thus, you should be aware of some safety tips and precautions to reduce your risk and help slow the spread of the virus.

  • Frequently clean your hands with antimicrobial soap and water
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has flu-like symptoms (at least 3 feet apart)
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Seek medical attention when you notice flu-like symptoms including excessive coughing, fevers, chills, and difficulty breathing

Every hour, every minute, every second, there is a new update on the coronavirus. Go online and inform yourself on this pandemic from reliable sources, so you can protect yourself and those around you. There is no need to fear, just be prepared!

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