Coronavirsues were first discovered in the 1960s and they were recognized as infectious bronchitis virus in chickens. Two viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43. Other members are SARS-CoV in 2003, HCoV NL63 in 2004, HKU1 in 2005, MERS-CoV in 2012, and 2019-nCoV in 2019. They are actually involved in some of the serious respiratory tract infections.
The name “Coronavirus” is derived from Latin word Corona and the Greek κορώνη (korṓnē, “garland, wreath”) that means halo. And this virus refers to the virions (infective form of visus) in terms of appearance. The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV, or Wuhan coronavirus) has spread to 22 countries and territories worldwide, with 7,921 confirmed cases and 1600 deaths as of February 15th, 2020 13:00 UTC.
A coronavirus was first isolated in 1937 from an infectious bronchitis virus in birds that has the ability to seriously devastate poultry stocks.
“I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of 2019-nCoV,”WHO’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Thursday.
In simple words, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Two human coronaviruses are majorly responsible for a large part of common colds OC43 and 229E.
Is Wuhan Coronavirus Contagious?
Coronavirus originated in a large animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China. Germany, Japan and Vietnam have reported the first cases in patients who didn’t personally visit China. According to World Health Organization, human to human transmission is possible for this virus and for some obvious reasons it is the most agitated thing.
A new study published in the Journal of Medical Virology finds that this infection may originate from snakes. “Whenever a species jump appears, whenever a virus jumps from one species to another — that species will not initially have a well-developed immunity to the virus. As time passes our ability to fight the new virus increases,” Dr. Waleed Javaid, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Mount Sinai in New York, told Healthline.
Everyone is talking about this as it can be spread, not easily but yes, it could be. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and people. Persons who are health workers or household workers and who are having weak immune systems are at higher risk of Coronavirus. Luckily, the virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact.
It was believed that it has been transmitted from civet cats to humans while MERS travelled from a type of camel to humans. In an interview, Zhong said “Currently, it can be said it is affirmative that there is the phenomenon of human-to-human transmission.” He also told that 2 people in Guangdong province has this disease and the family members who visited him also got infected. Also, 14 medical personnel who assists coronavirus patients have also been infected.
“While we do not know all of the mechanisms of spread of the epidemic so far, there is likely spread by droplets and contaminated surfaces, and possible airborne [spread], similar to SARS,”Dr. Mark Denison, a virologist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said.Advertisement
Coronavirus developed itself in the human body and when the person gets infected with cold, it finds out its way to grow even better. It attacks on the respiratory system and can even cause pneumonia and bronchitis that can be life threatening. Mostly, it affects the non-vegetarian human so better take care of your hygiene and stay away from eating animals for a while. Very rarely, a coronavirus may spread through contact with feces.
There are seven strains of human corona viruses:
- Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)
- Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43)
- SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome)
- Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63, New Haven coronavirus)
- Human coronavirus HKU1
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or 9 novel coronavirus 2012 and HCoV-EMC)
- Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), also known as Wuhan pneumonia or Wuhan coronavirus
In general, it spreads through close contact that is about 3 to 6 feet. Primarily, coronavirus spreads via an ill person from coughing to sneezing on someone. Typically, it does not live very long on its surfaces so it cannot be spread through goods imported from China. Luckily, disinfectants can kill the virus. You can also make it at home by mixing one tablespoon of bleach to one quart of water.
Fast Facts and News About Wuhan Coronavirus
- Most of the cases have been reported in China (majority is in Hubei province).
- Fee airlines, including United Airlines and British Airways, have cancelled flights to China.
- China’s Hubei provincial government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday break to February 13.
- This is an emergency in China but not a global health emergency yet.
- In Australia, 9 people have confirmed cases of the virus. “All travelers from Hubei province or people who’ve been in contact with a confirmed case are being advised to self-isolate for 14 days in their homes,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.
- As of February 1st, at least 67,000 people have been infected in China, mostly in Wuhan. Nearly 1600 people have died
- India gas also reported its first case of the virus on January 30 in Kerala. The patient is a student at Wuhan University and has tested positive.
- In Japan, the count is 16 and Malaysia has 8 patients as of 31 January. Singapore has 16 cases and five of them have visited China for the Lunar New Year holidays.
- Coronavirus affected countries include Sweden, Russia, Spain, UK, Italy, Philippines, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, Nepal, France, Vietnam, Singapore, US, Republic of Korea and Thailand.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
In humans, this infection occurs mostly during the winter months and early spring when our body usually catches cold the most. According to the WHO, signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Sneezing, runny nose, fatigue and sore throat is common in this. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. It may produce few or no symptoms.
The current estimates of the incubation period for coronavirus is somewhere between 2-10 days. It is 5.2 days on average but varies on patients. More than 1,000 people have contracted the virus in China. This data is based on people who have visited the hospital but so many are still there who either don’t know about their infection or did not registered themselves.
How Is Coronavirus Diagnosed?
It can be diagnosed with a new test called “Reverse Transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR)” that measures the amount of viral RNA. Don’t forget to take your medical history along with you. The only way to know for sure that you have 2019-nCoV is a lab test rather than some viral illness. PCR test are held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. This test converts RNA into DNA and then amplify genetic sequences.
If you have this virus, you have to take a swab of saliva or mucus from a patient’s nose and mouth or whatever the person coughs. Mucus then will be shipped off in a lab for testing.
How can I prevent coronavirus?
Now, this infection is life threatening but believe us the cure is simple and easy. The most important prevention measure one can take is proper hand-washing. Washing hands with soap and water really plays a key role in prevention. Either you use bathroom or blow nose or cough & sneeze, wash hands with water and soap and scrub for 20 seconds at least. Dry them with a clean towel.
If takes about 14 days to get sick after catching the infection. If you are the patient or caregiver then a mask is a must. No one is supposed to be in the same room with the patient. Wear disposable gowns and masks along with gloves, if coming with the patient. A reusable N95 respirator mask certified by an independent agency is highly recommended. Masks should be properly fitted and aren’t suitable for children or people with too much facial hair.
If you have a cough, make sure to cover your mouth and throw the tissue in the trash. Stay home when you’re sick and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Washing hands with soap is important but if it’s unavailable you can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer. They can be helpful but not legitimate. It can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands. At least 60% alcohol is important in absence of soap.
Take proper rest and avoid overexertion. Have enough water to stay hydrated and remove toxins from the body. Better to avoid visiting smoky areas and use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer. Still, if you are concerned about your symptoms, you should see your doctor and take medications, if necessary. Eat thoroughly cook meat and eggs only. If you are into cooking, use different chopping boards and knives for raw meat. Wash hands more frequently.
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