China may be a booming nation, at least in terms of sheer economic output, but that doesn’t mean that they have it all figured out.
This is still a nation under communist rule, and whose lax regulatory attitudes have provided the world with more than their fair share of health scares. In recent years, their skirting of internationally accepted pharmacological standards has led to controversies over synthetic cannabis being sold here in the United States. When the FDA would have time to study and ban one dangerous, Chinese-crafted chemical cocktail, greedy manufacturers would move a molecule here and there, avoiding the FDA’s newly-minted regulation, while creating a far less stable product.
Suddenly, kids were having seizures after smoking some gas station ganja, simply because China has chosen to disregard safety in the name of profit.
The same holds true for the dangers of under-regulation in the Chinese marketplace, where unwitting merchants can unleash a deadly plague unto the world because they’re trying to sell off the last few bushels of bat meat they have.
The virus is a strain of coronavirus, a large family of pathogens that usually live in animals such as cats, bats and camels. Occasionally, they can jump between animals and humans, a process called zoonosis. Some coronaviruses are harmless to humans; you probably have a few of those in your system right now. Others can produce nothing more serious than a common cold, while the worst can lead to pneumonia.
The current virus appeared in December among people who were exposed to wildlife at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, a city of about 9 million residents halfway between Beijing and Hong Kong. From there, it has spread to Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, and health authorities in Mexico are investigating a possible case in Reynosa: a 57-year-old molecular biology professor who recently returned from Wuhan.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the World Health Organization had reported 555 cases and 17 deaths.
China has now been forced to Quarantine the city where the virus is believed to have been first contracted.
The first US case of this coronavirus strain appeared this week in Washington State, after an airline passenger returned home from China.
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