Update on Coronavirus, The Epidemic in China




One of the most pressing matters in the world right now is the disease known as coronavirus. China, which is one of the most populous countries in the world, is currently facing this epidemic. In 2019, there were a lot of cases of pneumonia in China. With some research and investigations, they found out that a previously unknown virus was causing this. This virus is now named as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Since this virus is new, there are still things that are unknown about it and there might be things that can change about it.
Coronaviruses are viruses in the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae, in the order Nidovirales. The most recent common ancestor of the coronavirus has been placed at 8000 BCE. They may still be older than this. On a cellular level, coronavirus has an appearance like a crown. Because of this appearance, it was named corona because the crown in Latin is called the corona. It is a large group of viruses, which consists of a core of genetic material, which is surrounded by an envelope of protein spikes.
Coronavirus has different types. These types can cause either respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms. Respiratory symptoms can range from the common cold to pneumonia. Usually, the symptoms are minor. Nevertheless, there are types of coronavirus that can cause severe diseases like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome i.e. SARS-Cov, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome i.e. MERS-Cov. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is also a type of coronavirus. It first occurred in a group of people with pneumonia who were connected with seafood in the city of Wuhan. The disease spread from them to others like family members and healthcare staff. The disease has already spread in China and also in some other countries.
The question is where did this virus originate? It was found that coronavirus exists between a range of certain animals. Because of spillover, this virus was spread from animals to humans. The MERS-Cov is transmitted from camels and the SARS-Cov is transmitted from civet cats. The transmitter of the novel coronavirus is not yet known.
The mortality rate of coronavirus is still unknown. The mortality rate of SARS was 9.6 percent. Whereas MERS had a mortality rate of 37 percent. It may be that the coronavirus identified right now are just a tip of an iceberg and is yet to be completely revealed.
The transmission of coronavirus from one person to another is yet to be determined. But a normal respiratory virus usually transmits through air droplets. For example, when a person sneezes or coughs. The most at-risk people right now are the people who are family to the infected person or the healthcare members who are taking care of the patient.
The coronavirus symptoms vary from minor to severe. At first, there could be just a fever or cough. For severe symptoms, coronavirus can cause pneumonia, kidney failure or even death. This much can tell how dangerous the coronavirus really is. To tell whether a person is infected with coronavirus or not is through a test called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). It identifies the genetic fingerprint of the virus.
Currently, there is no specific medication, no vaccine and no supportive care for the virus. Treatments against the virus are still in development. However, this does not mean that the spreading of the virus cannot be prevented. The virus itself has a limited geographic spread and there are certain hygiene measures one can take to prevent the disease from spreading further. One of the measures is covering your mouth and nose when you’re coughing or sneezing with anything. It could be a medical mask, tissue or even your elbow. Another measure is to avoid close contact with people who are known to be affected by the disease. For healthcare members, it is mandatory that they properly use masks and PPE. Last but not least washing your hands regularly with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. These were some measures to prevent the spreading of disease from human to human. However, coronavirus can also be spread through contact with animals. So, what should be done then? To prevent this infection from an animal source, you must avoid any unnecessary or unprotected contact with animals harboring the infection. Once again, washing hands if you come into contact with an animal. Ensure that animal products are cooked thoroughly before consumption. If you are feeling a mild cold or fever, seek medical aid early before it gets late.
China had 75,569confirmed infections as of 21st of Feb and there have been 2,239deaths nationwide. There has been a total of 77,816 cases of coronavirus of which there have been 2360 deaths worldwide right now.

This article is ongoing and will be updated soon...

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