‘Wet markets’ may be a root cause for the coronavirus

With roughly 360 dead and 17,400 infected throughout a total of 28 countries, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has made a name for itself since its recent outbreak in December 2019. 

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, known as 2019-nCOV, originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The exact cause of the virus is unknown, however, past strains of the coronavirus are known to have originated in animals, as reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The coronavirus, to say the least, has taken over the media. Daily reports are monopolizing people’s feeds as new updates are found. 

The problem is the coverage is missing what we really should be talking about … the possible cause of this outbreak, the Chinese live animal “wet markets.” 

Before this outbreak, “wet markets” were not a common topic to talk about unless you live in a country that has them. 

“Wet markets” idealize the idea of “fresh” food. Vendors utilize stalls to sell live fish, meat and other wild animals; essentially on the street. 

The problem with this is that diseases spread rampid from animal to animal in close quarters like this, especially when vendors are butchering them right in front of customers. 

These “wet markets” contain both wild and domesticated animals that are not native to Asia. NPR reported that this type of captivity weakens animals’ immune systems and inadvertently creates diseases that are spread from one animal to the next. In the case of the coronavirus the disease is then spread to humans.

The question is, should “wet markets” be banned? 

An easy answer would be, yes, because this is not the first outbreak they have caused. “Wet markets” are also responsible for the SARS outbreak in 2003. 

After this outbreak, there were some restrictions for “wet markets,” but the outbreak of the new coronavirus proved those weren’t enough.

Being an outsider of the Chinese culture, it’s easy to suggest  the ridding of the “wet markets” because it’s not our way of life. We don’t depend on “wet markets” for fresh food; however, if this coronavirus turns into a deadly plague then something needs to happen with these “wet markets.” 

You can’t dictate other people’s cultures, but it is unfair for the whole world to suffer for the sake of one country. 

As the virus keeps spreading, it is important to be aware and know the signs and symptoms; so, you can get treated as soon as possible. 

The virus is known to cause upper respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, coughing and in some cases a fever. These symptoms are very similar to a common cold and flu, making it hard to decipher if you have the coronavirus or just a common cold. 

Because of this, the CDC recommends getting your vaccinations up to date and taking precautions you would for the ordinary flu. 

The number of infected and dead are rising as we speak; so, taking these precautions is very important.