Bill and Melinda Gates Donate $100 Million to Coronavirus Vaccine Research and Treatment | 22 Words

We are in the midst of a medical crisis.

The deadly coronavirus that originated in China has infected hundreds of people and is now spreading across the globe at an alarming rate.

Amongst the global panic, people have been trying to figure out exactly where the virus has come from and how to treat it effectively.

But it has now emerged that a lot of money to help develop a vaccine has been donated, including from Bill and Melinda Gates.

Keep scrolling to find out more...

 

Wuhan, China is currently in the middle of a medical crisis.

via: Getty Images

The Chinese city with a population of over eleven million citizens is currently on lockdown as authorities investigate the spreading of a deadly disease.

It is known as the coronavirus outbreak...

via: Getty Images

Reuters has given a short guide to what it is exactly: "Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that get their name from what they look like under a microscope - they are spherical and their surfaces are covered with "crown"-like spikes."

The symptoms can be deadly.

via: Getty

"Coronavirus infections have a wide range of symptoms, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death."

A lot of people have now died from the virus...

via: Getty Images

It has been confirmed that 565 people have now died globally, with the majority being in mainland China.

It is notoriously difficult to cure...

via: Getty Images

And this is because of the speed in which the virus can mutate. The technicalities read... "The virus blends with its host's DNA, which means it can mutate rapidly."

Things are only getting worse...

via: Getty Images

The virus continues to rapidly spread, and traces of the disease have already been discovered and confirmed in 8 other countries including Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

And the first cases have now been confirmed here in the U.S.

via: Getty Images

There are currently sixteen active cases being monitored in Washington DC but, because of the speed of mutation, it has also spread across the nation to California. A young girl is currently hospitalized with the virus and is showing no signs of recovery.

The United Nations may be on the brink of declaring a global outbreak...

via: Getty Images

The United Nation's health agency was forced to delay a decision on whether to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency as they continue to discuss the appropriate solution to the crisis.

Authorities in China have canceled Chinese New Year events because of the lockdown...

via: Getty Images

And flights to and from the location have been reduced drastically in order to stop further infection.

And now, everyone is asking the same thing...

via: Getty

What is it that's causing this deadly virus?

There are many theories...

But it is widely believed that the sale of meat from wild animals is the prime cause of the coronavirus.

Bats are believed to be one of the main culprits...

via: Getty

Strains of the virus have been discovered in bats in the past and, with them being a delicacy in some areas of China, they are believed to be one of the primary causes.

Chinese influencers have been heavily criticized for the consumption of bats...

via: Getty Images

And many have been eating the bats whole without properly preparing them.

The finger has also been pointed at reptiles...

via: Getty Images

In particular snakes. In similarity to bats, reptiles aren't suitable to eat but a snake soup is also seen as a delicacy in numerous parts of China.

All of these sources seem pretty reliable...

via: Getty Images

And it seems likely the virus has from a wild animal.

But regardless of where it comes from, the virus can be spread quickly and easily...

via: Getty

And Chinese officials have warned that the strains can be spread by coughing, kissing or making contact with saliva.

Scientists have been working tirelessly in a bid to find a vaccine...

via: Getty Images

But they have so far had no luck.

Of course, behind science is a lot of money...

via: Getty Images

And money is exactly what China needs in order to develop vaccines and conduct experiments.

Luckily, China's richest man has stepped in.

via: Getty Images

Jack Ma is the founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, and he is estimated to be worth around $38 billion.

He also runs the foundation Weibo...

via: Getty Images

And it was on this website when Ma announced that he would be making a generous donation towards the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus outbreak.

A total of 100 million yuan ($14 million) has been donated by Ma...

via: Getty Images

In the announcement, the company wrote that the money donated will be used to "support the development of a coronavirus vaccine," and the money will be split between different companies and organizations.

The money will be stretched far...

via: Getty Images

$2.8 million of the donation will be going to both the Chinese Academies of Engineering and Sciences, and the rest will be used to help purchase medical supplies for hospitals in the Wuhan and Hubei Province.

But Ma isn't the only generous soul who has donated towards the cause...

via: Getty Images

Enter Bill and Melinda Gates.

Bill Gates is a very wealthy man...

via: Getty Images

The Microsoft software founder is one of the richest people in the world, with him being worth around $110 billion.

He and his wife have a lot of money to spare...

via: Getty Images

And they have decided to help towards the research behind the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

The couple have donated a staggering $100 million.

via: Getty Images

Their money has gone to the coronavirus vaccine research and treatment efforts, which was announced as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) request for $675 million in global contributions to fight the spread of the disease.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "a window of opportunity" exists...

via: Getty Images

This is because only 190 cases of the coronavirus exist outside of China, meaning officials are hoping to regain control of the spread of the virus.

China are in desperate need right now...

via: Getty Images

$675 million is a lot of money, but it’s much less than the bill we will face if we don’t invest in preparedness now during the window of opportunity we have," Ghebreyesus explained.

All we can do is hope that these generous donations will start to make a difference...

via: Getty Images

Make sure to stay tuned for updates on this developing story.