by Dr Jay Lu

What is coronavirus?

It is a newly discovered virus and also called as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). It belongs to a family of viruses that carries strains that become reason for deadly diseases both in mammals and birds.

Coronavirus (CoVs) belongs to the largest group of viruses under the Nidovirus order. (1) Simply speaking, it is a type of virus that transmits from animals to humans but experts are still wondering what animal actually caused it.

How it has happened?

The COVID-19 was firstly identified in Wuhan, China. In 2019, an outbreak was noticed in the city which is still on a rise (2). This virus is getting serious and a number of deaths have been reported to date.

There are some peer-reviewed resources that quote snakes to be its cause while others say that it is still to identify what is the actual cause behind the outbreak of this virus. Coronavirus started with animals and then infused from human to human.

Moreover, airborne droplets are the prime reasons which transfer fluid from infected individuals. These are some rare type of strains which having Wuhan Coronavirus cause different health conditions in their carriers.

So far, there are almost 15 to 20% of patients who faced the severity of the issue. It has been noticed that the virus attacks those people who do not have a strong immune system (body’s internal disease-fighting system). The virus attacks people with middle age or older in most of the cases.

Symptoms of coronavirus

There are different symptoms that have been noticed in different animals in terms of Coronavirus. While talking about animals, they cause diarrhea in pigs (3). Patients who faced this viral infection with severity have pneumonia or bronchitis as well.

They cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and finally have the potential to cause human death.

  • SARS – it was first discovered as the main strain of Coronavirus in 2003 but researchers are still finding the exact source of the virus. The first infection which was officially reported was happened in China in the provinces of Guangdong in 2002 to be precise.
  • MERS – this syndrome is not that old and had been identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The prime symptoms are fever, cough, breath shortening and some gastrointestinal issues. Diarrhea is another symptom that the patients face in this disease. It has been thought that dromedary camels are the main source of this disease.

If you think that you may have got infected with COVID-19 then you should see the doctor on an immediate basis. You should alert the doctor before your diagnosis and tell them about the purpose of the check-up. It will let the hospital staff make special preparations to keep you separate from the other patients and they may also take necessary measures if you are a virus carrier.

Recent outbreak incidence

It has been suspected that snakes are the first source of this deadly virus (4) but there are some other researchers who negate this hypothesis (5). Recent outbreaks have got a lot of attention from all around the world and to date, 300 deaths have been recorded with 14,000 infections confirmed. The virus is also spreading to the other countries but China is taking swift and stiff measures to treat the issue.

People who got infected with this virus have been reported to be in China in the past or are from Chinese. There are a number of countries which have put restrictions on Chinese visitors in their countries. South Korea, New Zealand and Indonesia are among the latest travel restrict countries from China (6).

How deadly is it?

If the symptoms are severe then respiratory issues will have a comparative sudden onset. A viral infection just like Coronavirus is normally deadly however it is containable.

With a lesser profile of symptoms, the virus will not be that much deadly. At the same time, it is difficult to diagnose and get treated. The good news is that it is less lethal as compared to that where a patient faces some sudden fever and cold which are the basic symptoms of the virus.

Precautions

According to PubMed, in most of the cases where self-limited infections occur, the diagnosis of this virus is not necessary. The reason is a disease will run its course on its own.

However, it is vital to get it diagnosed in clinical and veterinary areas or if it sets severe in some particular location.

In terms of medication, no vaccination has been prepared yet as the virus is new and scientists are still trying to find its cure.

The only thing a person can do it to stay away from the infected people and take precautionary measures.

  • Keep wearing a mask if you suspect that the virus is present in your area.
  • Do not travel the countries especially China if it is not extremely necessary.
  • Do not touch your face, mouth or nose.
  • Keep washing your hands with a quality disinfectant.
  • If you are infected with the virus then your doctor will recommend some fever relieving medicines along with pain killers. Drink plenty of water and other fluids and it is also prescribed to take a lot of rest.
  • Stay home as much as you can and avoid touching things that others use.
  • Coronavirus spreads even with those things which an infected person has touched so keep your belongings separate to save others.

 

Final Words

The word has faced many infections in the past but in recent times, most of them have been treated with medication. The prime reason is that most of the previous pandemics had a detailed background and some research was already done for them. However, COVID-19 is a new type of infection which needs a lot of effort to get treated well. Countries are investing a lot of efforts to treat it. Future will tell either researcher are able to make a vaccination for it or it will keep on threatening the human on the earth.

 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369385/
  2. https://www.sciencealert.com/this-online-dashboard-tracks-the-global-spread-of-the-wuhan-coronavirus-in-real-time
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0010-9
  4. https://www.sciencealert.com/snakes-are-the-likely-source-of-china-s-deadly-coronavirus-here-s-why
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00180-8
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/02/world/asia/china-coronavirus.html