The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11 by the World Health Organization (WHO), in response to the disease’s rapid spread throughout the world, with 173 countries on every continent (except Antarctica) now reporting confirmed cases. The majority of cases now exist outside of mainland China, with
(Updated Mar 09 13:00 PST to reflect current numbers) (Additional update Mar 10 09:00 PST: Italian quarantine extended to entire country) Coronavirus infections outside of mainland China have been on the rise over the past few weeks, with nearly thirty percent of all reported cases now having occurred outside of
(Updated Feb 06 15:15 PST to reflect current numbers) The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a public health emergency of international concern after its emergency committee convened on January 30, in response to the potential for the virus to spread to other countries,
The highly adaptable nature of viruses is one of their most dangerous strengths. They are programmed to survive at all costs, mutating into different forms that often make the leap between different species. The infamous Ebola virus, which has infected almost 15,000 people in Africa this year, first evolved in monkeys and then evolved into a form which could be transmitted to humans.
Mammal to mammal transmission is not a huge leap to make, however, as the physiology involved is similar in each species. But could viruses that affect totally different life forms, such as algae, possibly evolve into a variety that could threaten humans?