Coronavirus Spreads Around the World

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The coronavirus seems to have come out of nowhere to take the entire world by surprise. As medical experts across the globe scramble for a cure, the rest of us are left wondering how worried we need to be.

No matter what grade you teach, students have many of the same questions that we adults do. What is the coronavirus? Where did it come from? What are its symptoms?

Our expert researchers have vetted the most current content to give you easy answers about the basics. Here’s what you need to know right now:

  • Coronavirus was first discovered in 1968. The virus is named for its shape, which resembles the corona of the Sun. The coronavirus family includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
  • The current strain of coronavirus is called the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). It was discovered in China in 2019.
  • The first group of people to get COVID-19 showed signs of pneumonia at first. They had all been to a market that sells seafood and live animals in Wuhan, Hubei, China.
  • Hundreds of thousands of cases of COVID-19 have been reported. More than 4,000 people have died from COVID-19.
  • Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in more than 100 countries.
  • Symptoms range from a fever or cough to conditions such as kidney failure and SARS. Most people have mild symptoms, such as the common cold or pneumonia.
  • COVID-19 most likely spreads through droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or when someone comes in contact with a contaminated object.
  • There is no medication to treat or cure the virus, but scientists are working to create one. Take normal precautions to prevent the spread of disease, such as washing hands often, sneezing into a cloth or the elbow, and avoiding contact with people who are sick.

Depending on the ages of your students and the topics you teach, the coronavirus offers a wide variety of interesting classroom discussion ideas.

General discussions about hot topics and current affairs

  • What is COVID-19?
  • How does COVID-19 spread?
  • What is WHO and what role does it play?

Lead into relevant science curriculum topics

  • Where do germs, bacteria, and viruses come from and how do they spread?
  • Who develops vaccines?
  • What is an epidemic?

Use these links to stay up to date on the topic.

Summary of the latest information by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention