Coronavirus

The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 novel virus, originated in Wuhan, China before rapidly spreading around the world.


COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease, with a high rate of transmissibility. Symptoms of infection include fever, joint and muscle aches, respiratory distress, loss of the sense of taste, cognitive fog, fatigue, sore throat, and more. Senior citizens are most at risk of dying from the disease, though secondary pre-existing conditions like obesity can make some patients more susceptible to danger. In severe cases, patients undergo respiratory distress and require intubation on ventilators. 


In response to the coronavirus pandemic, governments have initiated several policies to prevent spread. Many countries have severely restricted flights or entry into their state, with some like Israel adopting color systems to rank the risk posed by each destination. Contact tracing has become the norm, with citizens being obligated to quarantine after they have come into contact with an infected person. Social distancing and mask mandates have also become popular in many countries to prevent spread of infection. Early in the pandemic, lockdowns were used to prevent interaction between the public, in a severe attempt to halt transmission. Perhaps most controversial were the introduction of coronavirus passports, which would allow vaccinated citizens to move freely with a new form of ID. Critics assert that coronavirus passports represent an extreme violation of liberties.


There is an ongoing debate as to the origin of the coronavirus. Initially, it was accepted that the coronavirus originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China, within bats sold as food. However, it has been suggested that the virus may have originated from a virus research lab in Wuhan.


Several pharmaceutical companies have developed innovative mRNA vaccines to counter the coronavirus. Pfizer, Biontech, Astrazeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm and others have produced vaccines, however there is ongoing debate about their efficacy against new strains of the virus. Other pharmaceutical companies have developed treatments and drugs to alleviate and combat coronavirus symptoms.


The coronavirus is prone to mutations, and has already produced several well known variants, including the Delta and Lambda strains. The pandemic and virus may also colloquially be known as corona and COVID.

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US FDA clears Pfizer's COVID booster shot for young children

Children below the age of five are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

By REUTERS
17/05/2022
  Pregnant woman (illustrative)

93% of pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated

A study looked at women hospitalized with the virus in 2021, and found that most were unvaccinated. The median age of symptomatic pregnant women was 28.

Inflation seen as the biggest problem facing the US - Pew poll

The challenge with the next highest amount of concern was health care affordability, which 55% of Americans viewed was a very big problem.

North Korea reports first COVID-19 death after 350,000 sickened with fever

About 187,800 people are being treated in isolation after a fever of unidentified origin has "explosively spread nationwide" since late April.

By REUTERS
13/05/2022

Biden marks 1 million Americans dead from COVID

Biden will mark the grim milestone by ordering flags to be flown at half-staff, said the White House, which will also host a second global COVID Summit.

By REUTERS
12/05/2022

2022 sets the record in Jewish youth groups visiting Israel

After two years of the pandemic, 2022 has been a record year in the last decade so far in the arrival of Jewish youth groups from all over the world.

Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in thi

COVID-19 booster shot significantly boosts efficacy - study

The estimated vaccine effectiveness of the third dose against PCR-confirmed infection stood at 85.6% compared to the two doses, Sheba researchers found.

How COVID-19 changed e-commerce for good - interview

Webzie CEO weighs in on the current state of e-commerce, how it was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of the online commerce industry.

COVID-19 in Israel: PCR testing system at airport set to end, no longer required

The decision to end COVID-19 testing at the airport was made in light of the decreased spread of infection and decreased morbidity.

Can China preserve both its economy and its zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy?

The costs of prioritizing the pandemic over all else are creating a dilemma for President Xi Jinping as he prepares to assume a third term later this year.

By STEPHANIE YANG/LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS
08/05/2022
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