Guam’s territorial veterinarian, Dr. Thomas Poole, spoke about the coronavirus today during the Rotary Club of Guam’s weekly meeting, saying that about 15 percent of common colds are coronavirus. However, the particular strain that is spreading around the world going is zoonotic.
Dr. Poole explained that a zoonotic disease, which is also his specialty, is a disease that transfers from animals to humans. The strain of coronavirus responsible for the recent outbreak is thought to have originated, much like SARS in 2003, from fruit bats that came in contact with humans through a seafood market that sells them in Wuhan province, China.
“It comes from people having these fruitbats in these food markets. This one in Wuhan, this seafood market there, has more than 100 different species of exotic, almost endangered things and people want to eat the last one. Fruit bats are part of that. You don’t get the virus from eating the fruit bats, you get it from handling and being around them,” Dr. Poole said.
The current strain known as the novel coronavirus is highly transmissible, already responsible for 25,000 cases worldwide. However, the good news stated by Dr. Poole is the strain only has a 2 percent death loss, lower than that of influenza.
However, if or when a vaccine is formulated, the effects could still take up to 12 months.