COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 Nurse.jpg
A nurse treats a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit aboard a US hospital ship in April 2020
COVID-19 Outbreak World Map Total Deaths per Capita.svg
Confirmed deaths per 100,000 population
as of 15 September 2021
Cases per capita
COVID-19 Outbreak World Map per Capita.svg
Cumulative percentage of population infected
as of 22 August 2021
  •   >10%
  •   3–10%
  •   1–3%
  •   0.3–1%
  •   0.1–0.3%
  •   0.03–0.1%
  •   0–0.03%
  •   None or no data
DiseaseCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Virus strainSevere acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2
(SARS‑CoV‑2)
SourceBats,[1] likely indirectly[2]
LocationWorldwide
Index caseWuhan, Hubei, China
30°37′11″N 114°15′28″E / 30.61972°N 114.25778°E / 30.61972; 114.25778
Date17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)[3] – present
(1 year, 11 months and 1 day)
Confirmed cases240,786,306[4]
Deaths
4,900,724[4] (reported)
9.5–18.6 million (estimated)[5][6]

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019; a lockdown in Wuhan and other cities in surrounding Hubei failed to contain the outbreak, and it quickly spread to other parts of mainland China and around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Multiple variants of the virus have emerged and become dominant in many countries since 2021, with the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants being the most virulent. As of 18 October 2021, more than 240 million cases and 4.9 million deaths have been confirmed, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

COVID-19 symptoms range from none to life-threatening. Severe illness is more likely in elderly patients and those with certain underlying medical conditions. Transmission of COVID-19 occurs when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but the virus can transmit over longer distances, particularly indoors and in poorly ventilated areas. Transmission can also occur, rarely, via contaminated surfaces or fluids. People remain contagious for up to 20 days, and can spread the virus even if they do not develop symptoms.

Several vaccines have been approved and distributed in various countries, which have initiated mass vaccination campaigns since December 2020. Other recommended preventive measures include social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air-filtering, covering one's mouth when sneezing or coughing, hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, and quarantining people who have been exposed or are symptomatic. Treatments focus on addressing symptoms, but work is underway to develop medications that inhibit the virus. Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns, business closures, workplace hazard controls, testing protocols, and systems for tracing contacts of the infected.

The pandemic has resulted in severe social and economic disruption around the world, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s.[7] It has led to widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agricultural disruption, food shortages, and decreased emissions of pollutants. Numerous educational institutions and public areas have been partially or fully closed, and many events have been cancelled or postponed. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions have been exacerbated. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

  1. ^ Zoumpourlis V, Goulielmaki M, Rizos E, Baliou S, Spandidos DA (October 2020). "[Comment] The COVID‑19 pandemic as a scientific and social challenge in the 21st century". Molecular Medicine Reports. 22 (4): 3035–3048. doi:10.3892/mmr.2020.11393. PMC 7453598. PMID 32945405.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference who-origins-20210330 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Ma J (13 March 2020). "Coronavirus: China's first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b "COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)". ArcGIS. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference :7 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ "COVID-19 Projections". Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  7. ^ "The Great Lockdown: Worst Economic Downturn Since the Great Depression". IMF Blog. Retrieved 23 April 2020.

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