The Challenge of COVID-19

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China, is home to over 11 million people. On December 31, 2019, health authorities in this sprawling city became aware of a cluster of cases of pneumonia with an unknown origin. In early January 2020, they launched an investigation. Through meticulous contact tracing—the same way it’s been done for over a century—they discovered the primary origin of the outbreak at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, an open-air “wet market” selling fish, fresh meat, live animals, produce, and other perishable goods.

As more information emerged, the source of the new virus, identified as “severe ...

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