Introduction to Coronavirus
In animals such as camels, cats and bats coronaviruses are a common type of virus. They also sometimes infect and make people sick, especially in the respiratory tract.
Yes, this family is responsible for common flu, the extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which in 2003 panic and killed 800 people worldwide, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which became popular in 2012.
Technically called 2019-nCov, this new strain is best known as the new coronavirus or coronavirus of Wuhan. This is because it was never previously identified.
It is different in this sense from others in the family that circulates between humans and causes the common cold, among other things. However, a few studies show that the new strain genome is 96% similar to SARS.
Coronaviruses are called as they have a membrane with the small spine out of their shell as the scientist closely looks at them at the laboratory and it looks like a royal crown or crown of the sun.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus infections?
Coronaviruses typically cause respiratory symptoms, such as the runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and fever. Sometimes, coronaviruses can cause more severe infections, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), kidney failure, or even death.
How did the coronavirus start?
The latest coronavirus outbreak began in China at the end of 2019. According to recent reports, several patients were showing a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and cough in Wuhan, which was a town of more than 11 million people in central China in mid-December.
It looks at first like viral pneumonia or one of the most severe conditions for winter grip. But doctors were suspect, and rumors about a mysterious virus soon began to circulate among them.
According to some reports, the coronavirus was determined to be very close to SARS by December 26. But the city officials only learned about the case on the 30 December and reported pneumonia to the hospitals, omitting the term “SARS,” to create no panic. At the time, they examined 27 cases.
The New York Times confirmed on January 8 that Chinese scientists had found a new disease pathogen in Wuhan behind a mysterious disease that sickened 59 people.
What is the treatment for coronaviruses?
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus infections. Treatment consists of supportive care and relief of symptoms.
How can coronavirus infection be prevented?
- A vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection is not currently available. People should follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses of any kind:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wash your hands especially after coughing and sneezing, before and after caring for an ill person, and before preparing foods and before eating.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact (such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils) with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except when you need to get medical care. Wash hands after animal contact and after visiting farms, markets, barns, petting zoos, and agricultural fairs.
- Avoid contact with animals who are sick.
Which animals were the origin of the coronavirus?
Bats are most suspected because of many viruses, including coronaviruses, co-exist. It is however probable that humans are entered by an indirect species derived specifically from these primates.
The original presumption was a snake but this alternative was later omitted and the source is accused of being a mammal. Now, this is unclear, even if realizing that it would allow the epidemic to strike.
In the case of the SARS, it had been reported that the cats they feed throughout China were part of the politics of avoiding further contamination and restricting the product. The disappearance of all meat on the market destroyed all the evidence, which now made the inquiry quite complicated.
The crossing of the barrier and transfer between animals and humans is common to these viruses. Past outbreaks like SARS seem to have left these livestock markets, too.
But MERS is passed to people through camels, which is why the control of these outbreaks is harder as they are a working animal in the countries concerned.
Why is the coronavirus dangerous?
In China and 17 other nations, the outbreak led to the death of at least 28,200 people, 565 of which died. Many, however, believe these numbers are higher and the exact death rate of the virus is difficult to understand. The figure is currently estimated to vary from 2 to 3%.
It’s very infectious, too. This is why the threat is cause for concern. Several researchers have tried to measure the threat by contrasting the illness with other viruses, including influenza, that are widespread worldwide.
According to the WHO, between 3 to 5 million severe influenza cases have been caused, as well as 290,000 and 650,000 respiratory deaths.
Some infectious scientists have therefore said that there are many other complicated viral diseases, of which nobody is talking but that Wuhan coronavirus can not be ruled out as a concern that needs consideration.
How is the coronavirus transmitted?
Most respiratory viruses are transmitted by sneezing and coughing. In these conditions, infected patients release small outlets of the virus that can reach other people’s respiratory areas.
However, the suspected transmission of the virus may also take place in patients that have not been infected or have yet to present symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.
How to prevent getting the coronavirus?
Coronavirus is spread person to person, so it is important to stay away from those who are sick to avoid disease.
If you have a lung problem, another option may be to wear a mask. You, but also the wearer, can thus be protected from new infections. These masks help protect you in crowds if you’re not sick.