Mask Hysteria: Outbreak (Ep.1)

On December 31st 2019, China alerted the World Health Organization to a small outbreak of pneumonia, and by the end of the very next day a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei Province, was shut down and quarantined. By January 7th Chinese authorities announced they had identified a new coronavirus; a pathogen from the same family SARs, a virus that killed 774 people from over 8000 cases worldwide between 2002 and 2003. Since January 7th, the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus has spread to all 31 provinces in China, infecting just under 10,000 people, and has led to the deaths of over 200. Despite extreme containment efforts, the virus has now spread to 25 other countries, and for the first time in its history, the WHO has announced a global health emergency. As this virus continues to spread, the global health, social and economic ramifications of this epidemic have begun to become more serious. In this podcast series, Multimedia Editor Bilal Virji breaks down the latest updates surrounding the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus and explores the public health, social and economic ramifications of disease outbreaks.

In this episode, we speak to medical microbiologist and coronavirus expert Dr. Raymond Tellier to establish the main facts about this outbreak and to discuss the efforts to contain the virus. Dr. Tellier was part of the research team who first identified the SARS associated coronavirus in Toronto following the outbreak in 2003, in collaboration with several groups in Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver.

As of publishing this episode at least 259 people have died and 11,791 people have been infected by the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus in China.