The coronavirus is threatening the health of the global markets. Tuesday developments in the outbreak in China corresponded with declines in travel stocks and European luxury brands exposed to Asian markets.
What Is The Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are neither new nor uncommon, but occasionally strains arise that prove particularly menacing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include the SARS strain that emerged in 2002 and the MERS strain reported in 2012.
The latest coronavirus has been deemed a novel strain. Early symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness, and manifestations can progress to pneumonia, kidney failure and death.
Public health officials suspect it originated in December in a seafood market in Wuhan, China. China’s National Health Commission has confirmed the possibility of human-to-human transfer, although such transmission is not easy. Hundreds have come into contact with coronavirus patients without contracting the illness.
Nonetheless, the virus has begun to spread internationally. By early Monday, China’s Xinhua News Agency had confirmed 217 cases, including one in Japan, one in South Korea and two in Thailand. Six deaths have been confirmed.
What Is The Public Health Response?
The People’s Republic of China reported Monday it has shuttered Wuhan markets, tightened wildlife control, imposed mandatory fever screenings at nationwide transportation hubs, and begun to cooperate with the World Health Organization, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other neighbors in an effort to contain the outbreak.
Foreign airports have also begun to screen travelers arriving from China. The WHO is set to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday to decide the status of the outbreak. If determined to be a global health crisis, coronavirus concern would rise to the level most recently evoked by Ebola and Zika.