As the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread, the Gates Foundation is pledging $100 million to help combat the crisis. The news was announced in a statement from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. $20 million will immediately go “toward detecting, isolating and treating the deadly virus with the goal of containing it.”
There will also be money put towards vaccines and towards health authorities in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa which has been hit the hardest by the health crisis.
“Our hope is that these resources will help catalyze a rapid and effective international response,” Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said in a statement, via the New York Post. “This response should be guided by science, not fear, and it should build on the steps that the World Health Organization has taken to date.”
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.
Coronavirus in the United States
At least five cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been confirmed in the United States — one in Washington state, two in California, one in Arizona, and one in Illinois.
The country has since raised the travel advisory level for China and cautioned travelers against visiting the country, according to CNN. This week, a chartered flight carrying 200 Americans landed in Alaska where the passengers will receive health screenings before continuing on to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California.
Other countries that have detected the Wuhan coronavirus can be seen below.
- Thailand (at least 14 cases)
- Hong Kong (at least 8 cases)
- Taiwan (at least 8 cases)
- Australia (at least 7 cases)
- Japan (at least 7 cases)
- Malaysia (at least 7 cases)
- Macao (at least 5 cases)
- Singapore (at least 5 cases)
- France (at least 4 cases)
- Germany (at least 4 cases)
- South Korea (at least 4 cases)
- United Arab Emirates (at least 4 cases)
- Canada (at least 2 cases)
- Vietnam (at least 2 cases)
- Cambodia (at least 1 case)
- Nepal (at least 1 case)
- Sri Lanka (at least 1 case)