The United States government is reportedly preparing to evacuate American citizens from Wuhan as the novel coronavirus continues to ravage the region. While China has dumped considerable resources into containing the outbreak, experts predict cases could still soar above 200,000 in less than two weeks.
Americans will be airlifted from the city as soon as possible, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Wuhan, the epicenter of the deadly outbreak, has been effectively quarantined by the Chinese government. More than a dozen cities are now under travel restrictions, with over 50 million people in the affected area.
China’s effort to halt the outbreak now amounts to the largest quarantine in human history.
According to the communist regime’s most current numbers, more than 1,400 people have been confirmed as having contracted the extremely viral disease.
The coronavirus now has a presence in countries across four continents, including the United States.
While the official number of infected may seem low, many have speculated that China is downplaying the size of the outbreak.
One study estimates that the communist regime has identified only 5 percent of infected people, meaning there could be over 10,000 untested people with the virus. With those numbers, the study predicted as many as 270,000 people could be infected by early February, mere days from now.
Considering everything we’ve learned about the coronavirus so far, that astronomical number doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
Official numbers could be low because of a reported lack of test kits. No test kit means that even a seemingly obvious case of infection may not make the official count.
To make matters worse, not all cases present symptoms. Some people have even reportedly dropped dead from the Wuhan virus without even breaking a fever. Since many nations are attempting to identify infected individuals with temperature checks, this means the disease could possibly evade health checkpoints with ease.
The extent of the virus’ traits are not fully known yet.
One expert who contracted the illness speculates he caught it though his unprotected eyes, according to the South China Morning Post.
If this is truly a trait of the virus, it means even those wearing the best surgical masks are at risk of infection without adequate eye protection.
Of course, the real X factor in any outbreak is human response, and people’s reaction to the Wuhan virus was no different.
When news of the virus’ rapid spread first broke, residents rushed to stores, airports, and hospitals. Many went unprepared, and it’s likely that the packed conditions only helped the outbreak spread.
Take a look at the video below, taken at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport just before the quarantine. Notice how many people are not wearing masks, and how virtually no one has eye protection?
Our CBS News crew left Wuhan, China just before the city of 11 million was placed under quarantine due to the coronavirus outbreak; “In the airport, nearly every single person wore a mask, reminiscent of the SARS crisis of 2003,” @RamyInocencio reports https://t.co/EmwrZ56Feh pic.twitter.com/cWSe7Du6Pf
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 23, 2020
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appears to have a handle on the few cases that have been identified in America, and officials seem to be aware of the seriousness of the outbreak.
With doubt being cast on the official data coming from China, the world may be in for a shock if the Wuhan virus proves to be much worse than the communist regime is letting on.
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