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China warned of mysterious virus 6 months ago. Here’s where the world is at now.

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China warned of mysterious virus 6 months ago. Here’s where the world is at now.

It’s been six months since China first reported a cluster of mysterious pneumonia cases in the city of Wuhan.

The culprit became known as "SARS-CoV-2," a new virus that had hopped from a still-unknown animal to humans, spreading across the globe like wildfire. The virus has now reached every continent except Antarctica, devastating remote Indigenous populations in the Amazon and spreading in African countries already devastated by other viruses.

In that time, SARS-CoV-2 has caused at least 10.4 million infections worldwide and killed more than 500,000 people. As the virus spread, health care workers scrambled for personal protective equipment, sick patients overwhelmed hospitals and the weaknesses in societies were revealed.

Here’s a look back at all we’ve learned about the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in that time, and what we can expect in the next six months.

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One by one, countries shut down their economies and societies, a staggering number of people lost their jobs and many faced the mental health impacts of loneliness and isolation. Masks took their place next to phones, keys and wallets as objects you don’t leave home without; staying home became heroic; and humanity learned the phrases "social distance" and "flatten the curve." Science working overtime

The virus sparked an unprecedented global effort to find vaccines and treatment.

In the past six months, "there’s been tremendous scientific advances, not least of which has been isolating and sequencing the virus within 12 days of the outbreak being reported to the Chinese CDC," or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said George Rutherford, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. That means that in a matter of […]

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