In December 2019, there was a group of pneumonia cases in China. Examinations found that it was brought about by a formerly obscure infection presently named the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
In this article, we’ll take a quick look at what’s currently known about the virus keep in mind that this is a new virus and what’s known about the virus now might change in the future. Most of our content is based on the content prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO).
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a huge group of infections. They comprise of a center of hereditary material encompassed by an envelope with protein spikes. This gives it the presence of a crown. In Latin language, it is called Corona and that is how these infections get their name.
There are different types of coronaviruses that cause respiratory and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms. Respiratory disease can range from the common cold to pneumonia and in most people, the symptoms tend to be mild. However, some types of coronaviruses can cause severe disease; these include severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Coronavirus first identified in China in 2003 and the Middle East. Another form of Coronavirus known to be Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus was first discovered in 2012 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In China, novel coronavirus was first identified. It at first happened in a group of individuals with pneumonia who had been related to seafood and live animal market in the city of Wuhan. The ailment has since spread from the individuals who were infected to others including relatives and medicinal services staff.
There are numerous cases at present and the ailment has spread inside China and to various nations.
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Where did the virus come from?
It is known that coronaviruses circulate in a range of animals. At times, these viruses can transmit from animals to humans. This is called spillover and could be due to a range of factors such as mutations in the virus or increase contact between humans and animals. For example, MERS-CoV is known to be transmitted from camels and SARS from civet cats.
The animal reservoir of the 2019 novel coronavirus is not known yet. The exact mix of how the virus is transmitted is yet to be determined.
In general, respiratory viruses are usually transmitted through droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes or through something that has been contaminated with the virus.
People most at risk of infection from the novel coronavirus are those in close contact with animals such as live animal market workers and those who are caring for people tainted with the infection, for example, relatives or human services workers.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
There can be several symptoms ranging from mild to severe. There can be fever and respiratory symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, in more severe cases; there has been pneumonia, kidney failure, and death.
A test called PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction is conducted to diagnose the coronavirus in humans. The identification of the virus is based on its genetic fingerprint.
There is currently no specific medication for the virus and treatment is supportive care. There’s currently no vaccine to protect against the virus treatment and vaccines are in development.
The novel 2019 Coronavirus presently has a constrained geographic spread. Experts have recommended several general hygiene practices. These recommendations are only to protect humans against the deadly Coronavirus infection and further spread. These include;
- Covering your mouth and nose when wheezing or coughing with a clinically approved mask or flexed elbow
- Not doing close contact with the unwell individuals
- The proper utilization of personal protective covers and clinically approved masks in healthcare premises, specifically when surrounded by potential patients
- Washing hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
- Actions that can be taken to prevent infection from an animal source; include avoiding unnecessary unprotected contact with animals; washing hands after contact with animals or animal products, and ensuring that animal products are cooked thoroughly before they’re consumed
- It is important to stay home if you are feeling unwell but if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing; seek medical care early and share your previous travel history with your healthcare provider.
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Disclaimer: That’s a quick look at this emerging infectious disease given that this outbreak is evolving rapidly what’s known about this virus can change.