On December 31, 2019, Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. On January 1, 2020, WHO set up the Incident Management Support Team across their organization. On January 12, 2020, China publicly shared the genetic sequence of COVID-19 and the following day, January 13, 2020, officials confirmed a case of COVID-19 in Thailand, the first recorded case outside of China. If this sequence of events brings back bad memories and/or sends chills up your spine because of what we know now, it should, this was a catastrophe of epic proportions indeed.
25 national and international experts from China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, the United States of America, and the World Health Organization (WHO) formed a “Joint Mission,” with a goal of rapidly informing the world on the next steps in the response to the ongoing outbreak. The Joint Mission classified the COVID-19 virus as a zoonotic virus, with bats being the likely reservoir. This theory was never confirmed however, the debate continues.
Two recent articles have been published in very respected journals (links below):
- The Lancet – states that the proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown. There are two leading thoughts:
- The virus emerged as a zoonotic spillover from wildlife or a farm animal
- The virus emerged from a research-related incident, during the field collection of viruses or through a laboratory-associated escape.
- Science.org – states “there are different possible origins, but the evidence towards zoonosis is overwhelming”.
So, still no consensus, but what we DO know, is that pandemics cause pain, loneliness, and death. We have learned that there are no excuses for not being prepared. Yes, I have beaten this drum to death, however, per the CDC, the winter of 2022-2023 is promising to be one of high levels of flu and an increase in COVID infections. Are you prepared to staff your center if you get a surge of call-ins? Is your local emergency department prepared and willing to accept your ill residents if needed? How about your PPE supply? Sure, everyone has PPE, right? Wrong! We are seeing infection control citations even today, based on a lack of PPE availability. Please, be prepared, if you need help, holler, and, of course, remember you have free access to HealthCap’s Resource and Education Center! We are all in this together, keep it going, if you fall, pick yourself up, help your neighbors, and stay tuned to all CDC updates! Stay well and stay informed!