CoronaVirus – the dangerous viral disease that started in Wuhan?
Coronavirus is one of the dangerous respiratory infections that got transferred from person to person. The name of the virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus which was first introduced and outbreak during an investigation in Wuhan, China. In addition to COVID-19, other human coronaviruses have also been introduced, some of them are described below :
- The MERS virus, or Middle East respiratory syndrome.
- The SARS virus, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. It was first identified and outbreak during an investigation in the Guangdong province in the southern part of China.
The name coronavirus has been derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”. It looks like a crown around the virus particles. It has been first viewed under a two-dimensional electron microscope. It has the surface covered in club-shaped protein spikes.
The main cause is a member of the coronavirus family that has never been introduced before. However, same as other coronaviruses have been identified, it has also been transmitted from the animals.
Coronaviruses (CoV) cause viral infection ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. They are Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new respiratory illness outbreak in Wuhan that has not been previously identified and introduced in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which describes that they are easily transmitted between animals and people. The detailed research about the coronaviruses found that SARS-CoV has been transmitted from civet cats to human beings and MERS-CoV has been transmitted from camels to humans beings. There are several known coronaviruses that are circulating in animals that have not yet infected human beings.
The COVID-19 has spread to almost 80 locations in all over the world. Deaths have been reported in both the parts of Washington State and California in the United States.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus diseases?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has several mild symptoms such as a running nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. This infection has been more severe for some older people and can result in some other diseases like pneumonia or breathing problems.
Mostly, the illness can be very dangerous and fatal. People of older age and experiencing other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), maybe more probably to become severely ill.
People may experience some of these symptoms:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- difficulty breathing (severe cases)
What causes a coronavirus infection?
Humans firstly get coronavirus illnesses from being in contact with animals. Then, it easily spread from one human to another human. Health officials do not know about the animal which caused COVID-19.
The COVID-19 virus can be spread while being in contact with certain bodily fluids, such as droplets in a cough. It might also be caused by touching an infected person with your hand or any other parts of the body and then touching your hand to your own mouth, nose, or eyes.
Can a coronavirus be prevented or avoided?
Firstly, avoid going to meet with the people in large groups. Just try to stay at home if you are sick.
Then, you should cover your cough with a tissue and threw it into the trash. You should not cough into your hands.
Always wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds so that germs get kill especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, then you must use an alcoholic hand sanitizer consisting of at least 60% of alcohol in its composition. You should always wash your hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty or after working in unhygienic places. You should avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with dirty hands or unwashed hands.
The Centers for Disease Control has organized several travel advisories awareness programs for several affected countries. If you are visiting where the COVID-19 is present, contact with your doctor about how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
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Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment available which can recover COVID-19. Symptoms of a coronavirus usually move away on their own. If symptoms are felt worse more than a common cold, then you must always contact your doctor. The doctor might prescribe for the above symptoms, pain or fever medication.
If you have a cold or the flu, then you must drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. If you are having breathing problems, then go for the immediate medical facilities.
How many people have been affected?
As of 13 March, more than 139,620 people have been infected in more than 80 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
There have over 5120 deaths globally. There are more than 3,177 deaths reported in Wuhan, China. And more than 70,733 people have been recovered till now from the coronavirus.
Why is this virus worse than another normal influenza?
We don’t yet have any information that how epidemic the new coronavirus is. And we can’t even analyze it until more data comes in. Seasonal flu has a death mortality rate below 1% and causes approximately about 400,000 deaths each year. Sars caused more than 10% of deaths.
Other unknown facts are how contagious the illness is. There is no vaccine or treatment which can recover or control, available for the new coronavirus. In order to protect old aged people or those who have already respiratory or immune problems from getting trapped into illness is a much more difficult task. Hand-washing and avoiding being in contact with other people if you feel unwell are important. One healthy step is to get the flu vaccine, which will reduce the burden on health services if the outbreak turns into a wider epidemic.
Have there been other coronaviruses?
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) are both caused by coronaviruses that emerged from animals. Sars got spread into 37 countries, infecting more than 8,000 people and 750 deaths in 2003. Mers are the illness which is less transmitted from human to human. But it has greater reports of death approximately 35% of about 2,500 people who have been infected.
To get rid of the spread of respiratory viruses, which will work with this novel coronavirus, some of the preventive measures are as follows :
- Always wash your hands using soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Always use an alcoholic hand sanitizer that must contain at least 60% alcohol in its composition if soap and water are not available.
- Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when your hands are unwashed.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- You should cover your face with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Is COVID-19 the same as SARS?
No, they are much more similar to each other genetically, but both the illnesses that they cause are quite different from each other.
SARS was more dangerous in comparison to COVID-19 but very less infectious than COVID-19. There have not been any identification and reports of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.
How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
We can’t analyze how long the virus that causes COVID-19 will survive on the earth. But it seems to behave like other Coronaviruses. Coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for a few hours or might be available up to several days. Different factors such as type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment affect the spread of infection.
Clean your hands with an alcoholic hand sanitizer rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Can humans become infected with the COVID-19 from an animal source?
Coronaviruses are those viruses which are very common in animals. People can suffer from these viruses when coming in contact with those animals which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV came from civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels.
To protect yourself, follow these steps:-
- Ensure avoiding direct contact with animals
- Ensure good food safety practices at all times.
- Avoid raw meat, milk or animal organs with care
- avoid contamination of uncooked foods and
- avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.
Is there anything I should not do?
The following measures are not very effective against COVID-2019 and can be dangerous :
- Wearing multiple masks
- Taking antibiotics
If you have COVID -19, you must contact the doctor soon to reduce the chances of spreading a more severe infection.
How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?
The “incubation period” refers to the time between catching the virus and initiating to have symptoms of the disease. The incubation period is about 1 to 14 days, but most commonly around five days.
How likely am I to catch COVID-19?
The risk of catching this illness totally depends on where you are – and more specifically, whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak prevailing there.
However, there are some places around the world (cities or areas) where the disease is spreading fastly. Governments and health authorities are taking strict actions every time, a new case of COVID-19 is reported. We should cooperate with disease control efforts in order to reduce the chances of catching or spreading COVID-19.
COVID-19 outbreaks can be controlled and recovered, as has been shown in China and some other countries. Unfortunately, new outbreaks can be identified rapidly. It’s important to be aware of the situation where you are or planning to visit. WHO is publishing daily updates and reports on the COVID-19 situation prevailing worldwide.