America’s Scariest Outbreaks of the Millennium

By Jeilan Devanesan, Feb 10, 2020

America Disease Outbreaks Infographic Header

Over the past few weeks you have probably heard a lot about the coronavirus outbreak. 

You might have even seen some fake claims, pictures or videos about the outbreak. 

Like with any breaking news story there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. 

But unlike some of the other big news stories, it will take doctors some time to figure out what they are dealing with. Especially because a lot of the symptoms are the same as the common cold. 

However, with the 24-hour news cycle that we live in, not having all the information can lead to wild speculation. 

So we decided to see how the coronavirus outbreak compares to some of the biggest outbreaks in the United States this past millennium, and see what the official sources, the CDC and WHO, had to say about this new type of virus. 


Coronavirus Outbreak Comparison

How does the coronavirus outbreak stack up against some other outbreaks that spurred a media storm? Which outbreak poses the biggest threat?

America Disease Outbreak Infographic


Coronavirus Fast Facts

The 2019-nCoV or coronavirus outbreak has been labeled a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. This declaration let’s the WHO coordinate a response to the outbreak across international borders and put certain travel restrictions in place if necessary.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions people have been asking about the coronavirus.

Keep in mind that some information may change as the situation develops. To stay on top of the most current information, check the CDC and WHO websites.


What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a common virus that can cause upper respiratory infections in your throat, nose or sinuses. Most coronaviruses are not very dangerous to humans if treated correctly, but the 2019-nCoV infection has led to almost 500 deaths over the past few months.

The CDC has reported that this new infection can also cause a fever, coughing or shortness of breath in people. 


What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms of coronavirus include coughing, a runny nose, sore throat, and a fever. Because these symptoms are common with other illnesses, if you have any of these symptoms and have had any contact with someone who has recently traveled to China, you should see a doctor.

The 2019-nCoV infection can also cause a fever, cough, and shortness of breath in infected people. 


How does coronavirus spread? 

The coronavirus spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, like many other respiratory infections or pathogens. It can also be transmitted by touching common objects that an infected person has come in contact with, like a door or bus seat. 

Based on current knowledge the CDC believes that the 2019-nCoV infection spreads in a similar way to other coronaviruses. 


How can you prevent catching and spreading coronavirus?

Most experts say that you can avoid catching and spreading coronavirus by following very common prevention techniques. This includes using correct hand-washing procedures, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and staying away from sick people.

They also say the best way to avoid the 2019-nCoV infection is to stay away from anyone who could have it or has been diagnosed with the new illness. 

America Disease Outbreaks Infographic Fact Sheet



How is coronavirus diagnosed? 

Your doctor or health professional can usually diagnose coronavirus with a blood test, but the 2019-nCoV infection can only be diagnosed by the CDC at this time

How long can 2019-nCoV take to show symptoms after exposure?

Experts are saying that it takes between 2 and 14 days for the symptoms of 2019-nCoV coronavirus to be seen. 


What is the treatment for coronavirus? 

Coronavirus is usually treated like the common cold with lots of rest and fluids. Doctors are approaching the the 2019-nCoV infection in a similar way by helping to relieve the symptoms and support critical organ functions. 


Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?

There currently is no vaccine for the common coronavirus or the 2019-nCoV infection. Like we said above, you can avoid transmitting and catching the coronavirus by following common prevention techniques. 


Where did this coronavirus outbreak originate? 

It is currently believed that the outbreak originally came from Wuhan, China. If you have traveled to that area of China in the past month and are showing any of the symptoms from above, it’s advised you seek immediate medical care.


Who is the most susceptible to coronavirus?

Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate and like the common cold anyone can catch it through contact with another sick person. 

Anyone could also catch the 2019-nCoV infection through contact with someone who has the infection. But it’s most dangerous to the elderly or people with underlying medical problems.

In fact, Chinese officials have said that 80% of deaths came from people over the age of 60, that also have some underlying health condition already. 


Can you get coronavirus from cats, dogs or animals? 

There are many different viruses in the coronavirus family that are common in animals, however these viruses rarely make the jump to humans

If you think you could have the 2019-nCoV infection, you should avoid interacting with pets or animals. As of now, experts are not sure if the infection can spread to animals yet.


We are not doctors, so be sure to check out the CDC and WHO websites to stay up to date on any developments. They will have the most accurate information on the coronavirus outbreak by far.

About Jeilan Devanesan

Jeilan's a copywriter at Venngage. He enjoys reporting on design trends, tips and hacks. He also enjoys hitting the gym, creative writing and binging on books. You can find him on LinkedIn.