COVID-19 aka coronavirus seems to have taken a hold on the whole world, well, apart from North Korea that is, who are saying they are completely unaffected by the outbreak.
Although, many are casting doubt on these claims for one big reason...
Keep scrolling for the full story.
Coronavirus has been hitting the headlines non-stop lately.
via: GettyThe deadly coronavirus, or COVID-19, as medical experts are referring to it, has taken our planet hostage, and is showing no signs of letting go anytime soon.
What exactly is COVID-19, and just how dangerous is it?
via: GettyAccording to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is a new strain of coronaviruses that had not been previously been identified in humans.
The virus primarily affects the respiratory system.
via: GettyAnd common symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
But, in more severe cases...
via: GettyAnd in patients who are elderly and have existing health issues, the virus can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
The number of worldwide cases has now surpassed the 200,000 mark.
via: Getty202,272, to be precise. And, devastatingly, a staggering 8,012 more have reportedly died from the illness.
It's a dire situation.
via: GettyAnd many have been asking the same thing - Where did this virus actually come from?
Well, the virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.
via: GettyOn December 31st, 2019, China alerted the World Health Organization of several flu-like cases in Wuhan.
And where did it come from?
via: GettyMany different theories have been proposed, but it is now widely believed to have originated from the sale of meat from wild animals, especially bats, where the virus has been discovered in the past.
And, despite infected people being quarantined...
via: GettyThe virus was alarmingly quick to spread, with cases being reported as far away as Thailand just one week later.
It only took a month for the World Health Organization to declare a global emergency...
via: GettyWhich was done in an attempt to combat the virus and enable countries to put in strict measures to prevent any further spread.
But these attempts were to little avail.
via: GettyBecause, fast forward 3 months, and nearly every major country in the world has been infected by the virus, with some of the worst affected being Japan, South Korea, Russia, Italy, Iran, and Spain.
World leaders have been left with little choice but to bring their countries to a total stand-still...
via: GettyAnd many have banned large and crowded events, and any travel to and from infected countries.
Italy has even gone into total lockdown...
via: GettyLeaving their streets completely deserted.
And it didn't take long for the virus to reach us here in the States.
via: GettyOur first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington in late January after a citizen returned from a trip to China.
And, since then, the numbers have been rising at a frightening pace.
via: GettySince the first COVID-19 patient in Washington, there have been over 4,000 more confirmed cases across the country, with the death toll having now surpassed one-hundred.
Several cities have declared states of emergencies...
via: GettyAnd, on Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic, freeing up $50 billion in federal funding and promising a screening website and drive-by tests.
His move came after the World Health Organization confirmed COVID-19 as a pandemic last week.
via: GettyFYI... A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
He also announced a temporary travel ban...
via: GettyWhich prohibits any travel between the United States and any European country, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Yep, things are getting pretty serious.And many people have been descending into mass hysteria over the risks the virus brings with it.
But there's one country that claims to be unaffected by the outbreak...
via: Shutterstock... North Korea.
North Korea has claimed it has zero confirmed cases of the virus.
via: ShutterstockAccording to The Diplomat, it said: "Officials of the Party and power organs and working people's organizations and those in the fields of public health and anti-epidemic control across the country have boosted the hygienic information service about the worldwide spread of COVID-19 and preventive and treatment measures among the people, so that they should never feel relieved for having no COVID-19 case in the DPRK."
However, global experts have been quick to dispute these claims.Fox News, he explained: "It's impossible for North Korea not to have a single case of coronavirus."
And he's not the only one to cast doubt on North Korea's claims...
via: ShutterstockGeneral Robert Abrams, commander of U.S. Forces Korea said in a press conference: "It is a closed-off nation, so we can't say emphatically that they have cases, but we're fairly certain they do. "What I do know is that their armed forces had been fundamentally in a lockdown for about 30 days and only recently have they started routine training again. As one example, they didn't fly an airplane for 24 days." The virus has also been having a huge impact on the movie and TV industry. Keep scrolling to check out every film and TV show that has been canceled or delayed due to coronavirus… Is your fave on the list?