Feb 12, 2020 - Health

Taking coronavirus fears too far

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Fear and misinformation surrounding the coronavirus have prompted unwarranted discrimination against Chinese-Americans who have nothing to do with the epidemic.

What they're saying: "We’re already worried about [stigma] here in the U.S. and around the world, that somebody coming back from this community or that community may be treated differently ... and businesses in a certain neighborhood may be boycotted," Anne Schuchat, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday.

What's happening: Chinese-Americans and other people of Asian decent admit to suppressing their coughs and runny noses in public to avoid unwanted stares or social isolation, the Los Angeles Times and NPR report.

  • On U.S. college campuses, some non-Asian students acknowledged avoiding Asian classmates for no other reason than the virus's surge in China.
  • The coronavirus has an unknown animal host, spurring comments on social media that revive racist tropes about food.

The bottom line: "It’s definitely been an important message to point out that this outbreak is mostly in China and that’s where the risk is," Nancy Messonnier, spokesperson on the coronavirus for the CDC, said Monday.

Flashback: The 2013–2016 Ebola outbreak also increased "stigma, discrimination and blame" toward communities perceived as African in non-African countries, the World Health Organization observed.

Go deeper: Coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

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Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

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College campuses on edge due to coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Muntz/Getty Images

Students and staff on college campuses across the country are on edge as rumors swirl surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: University campuses can be breeding grounds for infectious and viral diseases. Illnesses can also spread quickly considering the close proximity in which students reside.

Go deeperArrowFeb 1, 2020 - Health

First American dies from coronavirus in Wuhan

Photo: Xinhua/Li Han via Getty Images

A 60-year-old U.S. citizen died from the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China on Thursday — making it the first known American death from the illness, according to a State Department spokesperson.

The state of play: The U.S. government has been proactively trying to evacuate U.S. citizens from China, as the coronavirus death toll has grown to more than 720. As of Friday evening, 34,546 cases of the respiratory illness have been confirmed in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowFeb 8, 2020 - Health