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Since the outbreak of COVID-19, a staggering number of deaths have swept the globe, entire industries have been upended, and daily living has rapidly changed, as officials attempt to curtail the spread of the virus. There isn’t exactly a manual for dealing with these unprecedented times, but a doctor from Wuhan, China — which the World Health Organization has identified as the epicenter of the crisis — has just released a new book that he says, could give some insight into how the spread of the coronavirus could be prevented.
Dr. Wang Zhou, in partnership with his colleagues from the Wuhan Center for Disease Control, has released The Coronavirus Prevention Handbook: 101 Science-Based Tips That Could Save Your Life. The 144-page book includes both stories from doctors on the front line, as well as strategies for possible early detection of COVID-19, and ways to prevent its transmission.
You don’t have to be a medical practitioner to benefit from — and utilize — Zhou’s advice, although he offers tips for professionals as well. Zhou, the Chief Physician at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, delivers an overview of the virus and the basics of contagious diseases in “plain language.” The handbook suggests a variety of precautions individuals can take, plus strategies for isolating and treating the virus.
“Given the fact that no effective medicine is available for viral infectious diseases,” he writes, “the preventative measures, including control of the source of infection, cutting off transmission, and protecting [the] susceptible population are paramount. Although medical institutions and workers are the main force fighting the disease,” he continues, “public participation is also indispensable for a rapid epidemic control.”
Cases of the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China, back in December. In the months that followed, its rapid spread caused the World Health Organization to declare the situation a global pandemic. As of April 6th, China has reported more than 80,000 confirmed cases and 3,331 deaths. However, the city of Wuhan re-opened from its lockdown just this past Wednesday, April 8th. This decision came after only three new cases were reported over the course of the last three weeks.
It should be noted that the Chinese government has been known to misrepresent its statistics, so the exact extent of the decline may not be confirmed. Still, Zhou’s first-hand experience in treating the disease is increasingly valuable for those across the globe who are still seeing the daily toll of new deaths increase. And, as a doctor fighting the coronavirus from ground zero, his insights are a welcome reminder that there are thousands of people on the frontlines, risking their lives to find a cure for this pandemic.